Kurt Kitayama bounces back from quadruple bogey to land Oman Open
Last Updated: 05/03/19 10:46am
Kurt Kitayama produced a remarkable comeback to win the Oman Open by a shot and claim his second European Tour title of the season.
Kitayama was up with the leaders at the halfway stage of the weather-interrupted tournament but started his third round with a quadruple bogey and dropped seven shots off the lead before darkness intervened on Saturday.
But the American seemingly enjoyed playing 33 holes on Sunday, making up all six shots he dropped late on Saturday and somehow completing his third round on one-under 71.
Two early birdies put him bang in contention during the final round but he needed birdies at 16 and 17 to move to the top of the leaderboard on a day when good scoring was again tough.
Until then, the tournament appeared to rest between him, Clement Sordet and Maximilian Kieffer, who held a narrow lead when Saturday's play came to a conclusion.
All three held the lead in the closing stages of their final rounds but Sordet dropped shots on two of his last three holes and a bogey from Kieffer at the 17th also proved costly.
That left them to share second place along with Jorge Campillo, who closed with a 69, and Fabrizio Zanotti whose hopes of setting the pace were dashed by a double bogey after he four-putted the 16th.
Kitayama had come through three stages of European Tour qualifying to secure his playing privileges for this season and now has two wins in 11 events, having also been victorious in Mauritius in early December.
"This one feels really good because when I won the first one I was playing really well and it just felt like it was coming," Kitayama said.
"This week I came in off three missed cuts and not having good weekends in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. It feels great to grind through all of that.
"The way we started that third round, I was like, 'can we stop right now?'. It gave me a refresh and it was incredible coming back."