Sunshine Tour

Kitayama lifts Mauritius Open title as Harding falters

2018-12-02 15:03
Kurt Kitayama
Kurt Kitayama (Getty Images)

Anahita - Kurt Kitayama of the United States carded a final round 68 of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open to claim his maiden win in his first Sunshine Tour appearance.

A Rookie on both the European Tour and the Asian Tour, having earned his playing privileges for both Tours at their respective Qualifying Schools, Kitayama was making only his third start on the European Tour.

READ: Coetzee hints at Tshwane Open revival

"I'm just so proud, really happy," he said after his victory. "It's an unbelievable moment for me, I'm just so happy I was able to pull it off. There were definitely some nerves around the first tee shot. Going birdie-eagle-birdie helped to calm things down for the rest of the day."

He admits, however, that it was never going to be easy to claim victory in such a strong field which included three former champions in Dylan Frittelli, George Coetzee and Wang Jeunghun.

"I was aware a little bit of what was going on," said the 25-year old Kitayama who has also played on the Web.com Tour in the United States.

"I kept one eye on the scoreboard. I just tried to stay calm and take it one shot at a time. It was important on 13, to get back with another birdie. I just tried to stay patient.

"It’s been a different journey for me (going from Web.com Tour to Asian Tour to European Tour). It’s been really exciting, being able to travel all over the globe and I’m going to continue to travel more. I’m really looking forward to it.

Justin Harding's scintillating form continued, meanwhile, as he mounted the challenge in his quest for a fifth win of the season. He finished three shots behind Kitayama after carding a final-round 71. Frittelli shared the fifth spot with Japan's Masahiro Kawamura, four shots behind Kitayama.

"I would have liked to have given it a better go today," said Harding. "it's been a good year and I have been reasonably consistent and I’ve had a bunch of top-fives, been in the final group a couple of times as well. I’ve been there and thereabouts, so I’m happy to have posted a top-five in my first made-cut in Mauritius."

Other South Africans who impressed this week at Anahita include Oliver Bekker whose total of 14-under gave him a share of seventh with Antoine Rozner of France, Max Schmitt of Germany and Scotland’s Grant Forrest.

The European Tour and Sunshine Tour golfers now gear up for the South African Open, which takes place at the Randpark Golf Club in Johannesburg from December 6-9.

Scores:

268 - Kurt Kitayama 65 65 70 68

270 - Chikkarangappa S 64 68 71 67, Matthieu Pavon 67 66 70 67

271 - Justin Harding 67 69 64 71

272 - Dylan Frittelli 69 70 68 65, Masahiro Kawamura 65 71 67 69

274 - Antoine Rozner 70 68 70 66, Oliver Bekker 67 69 70 68, Max Schmitt 71 66 69 68, Grant Forrest 70 71 65 68

275 - Lee Slattery 67 69 71 68, Clement Sordet 71 67 68 69, Gavin Moynihan 69 65 71 70

276 - Victor Perez 64 69 71 72

277 - Fabrizio Zanotti 71 68 73 65, Christiaan Bezuidenhout 70 68 71 68

278 - Trevor Fisher Jnr 69 66 73 70, Jbe' Kruger 70 67 71 70, Raphael Jacquelin 70 67 71 70

279 - Siddikur Rahman 70 70 73 66, Yikeun Chang 71 68 70 70, Adilson Da Silva 73 67 68 71

280 - Jaco Van Zyl 65 75 74 66, Pedro Figueiredo 71 68 73 68, Keith Horne 68 71 71 70, Thomas Aiken 70 71 68 71, Romain Langasque 70 72 65 73

281 - George Coetzee 69 72 71 69, Christofer Blomstrand 70 68 73 70, Jeunghun Wang 76 65 70 70, Jean Hugo 71 67 72 71, Berry Henson 69 71 70 71, Yanwei Liu 71 67 71 72, Alex Haindl 67 72 70 72, Ajeetesh Sandhu 69 70 68 74

282 - Malcolm Kokocinski 67 71 74 70, Joachim B. Hansen 71 70 71 70, Jack Harrison 71 70 68 73

283 - Hyowon Park 68 73 74 68, Gregory Havret 72 68 73 70, Tyrone Ryan 69 72 71 71, Jordan Smith 68 72 71 72, Matthias Schwab 67 71 72 73

284 - Stuart Manley 71 70 74 69, Dawie Van der Walt 72 69 74 69, Gonzalo Fdez-Castano 72 69 70 73

285 - Estiaan Conradie 70 70 75 70, Philip Eriksson 68 72 74 71, Haydn Porteous 76 66 72 71, Lionel Weber 69 69 74 73, Jaco Ahlers 70 70 72 73, Kim Koivu 70 71 71 73, Rourke van der Spuy 68 72 71 74, Ernie Els 69 70 71 75

286 - Hennie Otto 74 68 75 69, Viraj Madappa 68 74 75 69, Paul Peterson 68 72 75 71, Joel Girrbach 70 72 72 72, Adri Arnaus 72 66 75 73, Nicolas Colsaerts 72 69 72 73

287 - Udayan Mane 70 72 73 72

290 - Julien Brun 70 72 76 72

291 - Merrick Bremner 68 68 82 73

292 - Bowen Xiao 73 67 77 75

293 - David Drysdale 69 70 79 75

 

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