Kitayama takes the lead 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

Round two report

Kurt Kitayama produced a second successive round of 65 to open up a two-shot lead heading into the weekend at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at Anahita.

Qualifying School graduate Kitayama of the United States fired nine birdies on a hot and humid morning at Four Seasons Golf Club Mauritius at Anahita to get to 14 under par, with a double bogey at the second the only blemish on his scorecard.

S Chikkarangappa is Kitayama’s closest challenger on 12 under par, with the Indian recovering from back to back bogeys on his front nine thanks to a superb run of five birdies after the turn in his round of 68.

Frenchman Victor Perez, who matched Chikkarangappa’s round of 64 on Thursday, followed that up with a second round 69 to sit one shot further back, alongside his countryman Matthieu Pavon. Teeing off from the 10th, Pavon recovered from an opening bogey with an eagle on the 13th and a run of four birdies from the 18th in his round of 66.

Another Qualifying School graduate in Ireland’s Gavin Moynihan, who has only dropped two shots in the last two rounds – both at the par three eighth hole – is at 10 under par, with Trevor Fisher Jnr of South Africa one shot further back.

England’s Lee Slattery, South African trio Oliver Bekker, Merrick Bremner and Justin Harding, and Japan’s Masahiro Kawamura, who also secured his 2019 European Tour card through Qualifying School, are in a tie for seventh place at eight under par.

Player quotes

Kurt Kitayama: “I started with a birdie and then just had a little blunder at two. I got back on track right after so it was nice to bounce back after a double.

“Just a little pitching wedge on 17, hit it to about five or six feet and made that putt. Hit a good drive on 18, so that was short iron in and a two putt. Two stress-free birdies.

“I’m driving it well which is making it a lot easier. It’s a pretty big advantage to be able to hit shorter irons in. I’m feeling pretty comfortable.

“I’ll stay the same over the weekend, still be aggressive. It’s gone well so far so don’t want to switch things up too much.”

S Chikkarangappa: “I started the round well; a par followed by a birdie. I just got a bit of bad luck on holes 14 and 15, where my ball got plugged in the bunker.

“I told myself to hit more fairways and give myself birdie opportunities, and that was what I did from hole one. I birdied the first hole and made birdies until hole five. That was an important run for me to get back to where I was yesterday.”

Victor Perez: “It was definitely nice to back up the performance of yesterday with another solid round. Only one dropped shot early which could have been avoided but I don’t think I was really in trouble, except at the 11th where I could have dropped a shot and I was able to make a nice par save. Definitely pleased moving into the weekend.

“I feel like the conditions are ideal. It’s not windy, it’s warm, the ball is travelling quite far. It helps some of those missed shots a little bit to still carry and get the distance.”

Gavin Moynihan: “I played one of my better ball-striking rounds of the year. I played lovely, holed a few nice putts. I played similar enough yesterday but just didn’t hole as many putts. Very happy.

“The eighth is a tough par three, 215 or 220, and I missed in the left bunker both days. Tomorrow I’ll be trying to put it up the right somewhere. I just missed my par putt today but no complaints. I holed a few nice putts so it all evened out.

“It’s a very chilled week, almost a reward for getting through Q School. I’ll just enjoy the week but you have to play well, just freewheel it a bit. Obviously looking forward to the next few days.”

Round two scores

130 K Kitayama (USA) 65 65,
132 C S (Ind) 64 68,
133 V Perez (Fra) 64 69, M Pavon (Fra) 67 66,
134 G Moynihan (Irl) 69 65,
135 T Fisher Jnr (RSA) 69 66,
136 M Kawamura (Jpn) 65 71, M Bremner (RSA) 68 68, O Bekker (RSA) 67 69, L Slattery (Eng) 67 69, J Harding (RSA) 67 69,
137 J Kruger (RSA) 70 67, R Jacquelin (Fra) 70 67, M Schmitt (Ger) 71 66,
138 J Hugo (RSA) 71 67, A Rozner (Fra) 70 68, M Kokocinski (Swe) 67 71, M Schwab (Aut) 67 71, L Weber (Fra) 69 69, C Blomstrand (Swe) 70 68, C Sordet (Fra) 71 67, C Bezuidenhout (RSA) 70 68, A Arnaus (Esp) 72 66, Y Liu (Chn) 71 67,
139 P Figueiredo (Por) 71 68, E Els (RSA) 69 70, F Zanotti (Par) 71 68, D Drysdale (Sco) 69 70, Y Chang (Kor) 71 68, D Frittelli (RSA) 69 70, A Sandhu (Ind) 69 70, A Haindl (RSA) 67 72, K Horne (RSA) 68 71,
140 S Rahman (Ban) 70 70, B Xiao (Chn) 73 67, P Peterson (USA) 68 72, A Da Silva (Bra) 73 67, G Havret (Fra) 72 68, E Conradie (RSA) 70 70, R Van Der Spuy (RSA) 68 72, J Van Zyl (RSA) 65 75, P Eriksson (Swe) 68 72, B Henson (USA) 69 71, J Smith (Eng) 68 72, J Ahlers (RSA) 70 70,
141 S Manley (Wal) 71 70, D Van Der Walt (RSA) 72 69, K Koivu (Fin) 70 71, G Fdez-Castaño (Esp) 72 69, G Forrest (Sco) 70 71, J Wang (Kor) 76 65, T Aiken (RSA) 70 71, T Ryan (RSA) 69 72, N Colsaerts (Bel) 72 69, G Coetzee (RSA) 69 72, H Park (Kor) 68 73, J Hansen (Den) 71 70, J Harrison (Eng) 71 70,
142 R Langasque (Fra) 70 72, H Porteous (RSA) 76 66, U Mane (Ind) 70 72, V Madappa (Ind) 68 74, H Otto (RSA) 74 68, J Girrbach (Sui) 70 72, J Brun (Fra) 70 72,
143 M Muthiya (Zam) 71 72, M Cayeux (Zim) 75 68, J Kamte (RSA) 72 71, I Cantero Gutierrez (Esp) 72 71, B Ritthammer (Ger) 72 71, N Turner (Irl) 70 73, T Smyth (Aus) 68 75, A Saddier (Fra) 71 72, G Bourdy (Fra) 76 67, T Thimba Jnr (RSA) 74 69, G Migliozzi (Ita) 73 70, S Surry (Eng) 73 70,
144 D McGuigan (Sco) 70 74, L Gagli (Ita) 72 72, M Palmer (RSA) 71 73, O Wilson (Eng) 73 71, L De Jager (RSA) 73 71, A Raj (Ind) 75 69, D Petersen (RSA) 72 72, S Lewton (Eng) 72 72, W Liang (Chn) 73 71, Z Lombard (RSA) 72 72, H Du Plessis (RSA) 72 72,
145 J Kameshiro (Jpn) 72 73, J Senekal (RSA) 73 72, D Van Tonder (RSA) 73 72, J Singh Brar (Eng) 73 72, C O’Toole (USA) 73 72, R Enoch (Wal) 72 73, B Hebert (Fra) 72 73, F Bergamaschi (Ita) 70 75, K Joshi (Ind) 77 68, M Calderon (Chi) 74 71, A Atwal (Ind) 73 72, J Dantorp (Swe) 69 76, R Sterne (RSA) 71 74, J Roos (RSA) 72 73, P Langfors (Swe) 74 71,
146 S Gregory (Eng) 71 75, L Johnston (Sco) 73 73, C Baumann (Swe) 75 71, M Siem (Ger) 70 76, J Catlin (USA) 70 76, B Park (Kor) 71 75, A Quiros (Esp) 70 76, J Todd (USA) 72 74, M Jordan (Eng) 72 74, D Lipsky (USA) 74 72,
147 V Groenewald (RSA) 74 73, J Harvey (RSA) 75 72, J Strydom (RSA) 72 75, B Easton (RSA) 74 73, B Evans (Eng) 74 73, M Ong (Sin) 71 76, J Yap (Sin) 70 77, M Viljoen (RSA) 71 76, R West (RSA) 75 72, S Prakongvech (Tha) 75 72, K Kochhar (Ind) 72 75,
148 M Slorach (Sin) 72 76, B Wright (RSA) 74 74, O Strydom (RSA) 71 77, B Wiesberger (Aut) 72 76, N Schietekat (RSA) 76 72, J Prinsloo (RSA) 77 71, K Davidse (RSA) 75 73,
149 J Walters (RSA) 75 74, S Lecuyer (Can) 76 73, L Rowe (RSA) 75 74,
150 S Griffiths (Eng) 74 76, P Harris (USA) 75 75, J Lima (Por) 70 80, G Mulroy (RSA) 70 80, S Hasegawa (Jpn) 78 72, S Dwivedi (Ind) 76 74, M Manassero (Ita) 76 74,
151 A Hadi (Sin) 78 73, U Van Den Berg (RSA) 76 75,
153 E Molinari (Ita) 77 76, K Johannessen (Nor) 77 76, C Pigem (Esp) 79 74,
155 R De Smidt (RSA) 78 77,
156 K Low (Mas) 75 81,
157 A De Decker (RSA) 75 82, D Gleeson (Aus) 79 78, E Kofstad (Nor) 81 76,
158 P Pellegrin (am) (Mus) 77 81,
165 A Poonan (RSA) 85 80,
** A Karlsson (Swe) 71 RT, J Randhawa (Ind) 77 RT, H Rai (Ind) RT 0,