Kitayama claims maiden victory in Mauritius

Tournament: AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at Anahita
Race to Dubai: Tournament 3 of 48 events
Venue: Four Seasons Golf Club Mauritius at Anahita
Prize fund: €1,000,000
Hashtag: #ABMO

Final round report

Kurt Kitayama secured his maiden European Tour title in just his third event after claiming a two-shot victory at the tri-sanctioned AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at Anahita.
The American, who earned his playing privileges at Qualifying School last month, carded an eagle, four birdies and two bogeys in his closing round of 68 on Sunday.
But it was not all plain sailing for the 25 year old as he saw his lead reduced to a single shot when he missed his par putt from six feet at the 16th.
He held his nerve, though, holing from 20 feet for a birdie at the 17th to restore his two-stroke cushion, before safely parring the last to finish the tournament on 20 under par.
India’s S Chikkarangappa and Matthieu Pavon of France finished in a tie for second on 18 under par after they both produced closing rounds of 67 at Four Seasons Golf Club Mauritius at Anahita.

South African Justin Harding fired a closing birdie to get to 17 under par and finish in solo fourth, one shot ahead of his countryman and defending champion Dylan Frittelli – who notched seven birdies in his bogey-free round of 65 – and Masahiro Kawamura of Japan.

Oliver Bekker of South Africa, Scotland’s Grant Forrest, Frenchman Antoine Rozner and German Max Schmitt finished in a tie for seventh place on 14 under par, with Ireland’s Gavin Moynihan, Englishman Lee Slattery, and Clément Sordet of France one shot further back.

Player quotes

Kurt Kitayama: “I’m just so proud, really happy. 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.

“I was aware a little bit of what was going on, 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.

“This whole year has been, well, what a great year. 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.”

Chikkarangappa S: “It was a fantastic round today. Looking at the scoreboard, the leading guys were making the golf course look like a mini golf course. Which was why I told myself that I must charge. I’ve played to a solid finish today, which was much needed. I’m very happy with it.

“The 16th and 17th were the rollercoaster putts. I was under pressure to make those and I’m proud of myself for being able to do so.

“Before those holes, I saw the scoreboard and told myself that I have a great chance of heading up there. I have to finish within the top-four. The putt on 16th was amazing. 100 per cent perfection.”

Matthieu Pavon: “I started well. I was pretty comfortable on the front nine, made some great birdies and had many chances. I just made a bad three putt on number eight, I mean, it happens. Then it was a little bit harder for me to get close to the flag, one or two putts did not go in.

“I just missed a small opportunity on 18 to finish in second by myself. But it was a fantastic week, I played really well and I enjoyed the week.

“When I was on the course I was really comfortable. I played really strongly. It was close for me, nothing big went wrong just a bit of luck on the week, drop more putts and a bit more concentration on a few shots. That would probably make the difference this week and the next few weeks.”

Final round scores

268 K Kitayama (USA) 65 65 70 68,
270 C S (Ind) 64 68 71 67, M Pavon (Fra) 67 66 70 67,
271 J Harding  (RSA) 67 69 64 71,
272 D Frittelli (RSA) 69 70 68 65, M Kawamura (Jpn) 65 71 67 69,
274 A Rozner  (Fra) 70 68 70 66, M Schmitt  (Ger) 71 66 69 68, G Forrest  (Sco) 70 71 65 68, O Bekker (RSA) 67 69 70 68,
275 C Sordet  (Fra) 71 67 68 69, L Slattery (Eng) 67 69 71 68, G Moynihan (Irl) 69 65 71 70,
276 V Perez (Fra) 64 69 71 72,
277 C Bezuidenhout (RSA) 70 68 71 68, F Zanotti (Par) 71 68 73 65,
278 T Fisher Jnr (RSA) 69 66 73 70, R Jacquelin (Fra) 70 67 71 70, J Kruger (RSA) 70 67 71 70,
279 Y Chang (Kor) 71 68 70 70, A Da Silva (Bra) 73 67 68 71, S Rahman (Ban) 70 70 73 66,
280 T Aiken (RSA) 70 71 68 71, P Figueiredo  (Por) 71 68 73 68, K Horne (RSA) 68 71 71 70, R Langasque  (Fra) 70 72 65 73, J Van Zyl (RSA) 65 75 74 66,
281 G Coetzee (RSA) 69 72 71 69, C Blomstrand (Swe) 70 68 73 70, B Henson (USA) 69 71 70 71, J Wang (Kor) 76 65 70 70, J Hugo  (RSA) 71 67 72 71, Y Liu  (Chn) 71 67 71 72, A Haindl (RSA) 67 72 70 72, A Sandhu (Ind) 69 70 68 74,
282 J Hansen  (Den) 71 70 71 70, M Kokocinski (Swe) 67 71 74 70, J Harrison (Eng) 71 70 68 73,
283 H Park (Kor) 68 73 74 68, T Ryan (RSA) 69 72 71 71, M Schwab  (Aut) 67 71 72 73, G Havret  (Fra) 72 68 73 70, J Smith (Eng) 68 72 71 72,
284 D Van Der Walt (RSA) 72 69 74 69, S Manley (Wal) 71 70 74 69, G Fdez-Castaño  (Esp) 72 69 70 73,
285 L Weber (Fra) 69 69 74 73, R Van Der Spuy (RSA) 68 72 71 74, P Eriksson (Swe) 68 72 74 71, K Koivu (Fin) 70 71 71 73, J Ahlers (RSA) 70 70 72 73, E Els (RSA) 69 70 71 75, E Conradie (RSA) 70 70 75 70, H Porteous (RSA) 76 66 72 71,
286 V Madappa (Ind) 68 74 75 69, P Peterson (USA) 68 72 75 71, H Otto (RSA) 74 68 75 69, J Girrbach (Sui) 70 72 72 72, A Arnaus (Esp) 72 66 75 73, N Colsaerts  (Bel) 72 69 72 73,
287 U Mane (Ind) 70 72 73 72,
290 J Brun  (Fra) 70 72 76 72,
291 M Bremner (RSA) 68 68 82 73,
292 B Xiao (Chn) 73 67 77 75,
293 D Drysdale (Sco) 69 70 79 75,