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Oman Open Kurt Kitayama

Kitayama brushes off quadruple bogey and sandstorms in Oman

Vegas' Kurt Kitayama did the first two stages of Q School with a push cart, now he's a two-time winner. Plus all the talking points...
 

Oman Open report: So what happened?

In amongst all the sandstorms in Muscat it was Kurt Kitayama from Las Vegas who pipped everyone for his second win in 11 starts in his rookie season.

The 26-year-old birdied 16 and 17 on a day of 33 holes for him to pip Clement Sordet and Maximilian Kieffer after producing one of the gutsiest comebacks earlier in the week.

Kitayama ran up a quadruple bogey to start his third round, had three more bogeys in his next four holes but still somehow got it round in under par. He is only the second player in European Tour history to record an 8 on a par 4 and still win.

Much was expected of Kitayama after coming three all three stages of Q School and he then won in Mauritius in December and he’s now a two-time winner after timing his run to perfection.

It had looked like this putt from Sordet, who was also at Q School down in Lumine just a few months ago, would be the difference but he then three-putted the 72nd hole while Kieffer made a mess of his approach at the 17th and they eventually shared second spot with Jorge Campillo and Fabrizio Zanotti.

Full Oman Open leaderboard

Oman Open report: The talking points

The winds. The scoring average for the second round was 76.6 after Friday was suspended as sandstorms hit the course while Saturday morning, and the completion of the second round was almost as brutal.

At one point Kitayama played a shot onto the green only for the wind to take hold and blow it into a green side bunker.

Tournament director Miguel Vidaor said: “Suddenly, at approximately 11:00, we experienced a sandstorm with winds between 15 and 25 miles per hour blowing from the south-west (inland), with gusts between 30 and 40mph.

“Widespread movement of balls on the front-nine greens occurred at 11:38, which is when play was suspended.”

But, in amongst it all, there were some genuine heroics. Brandon Stone somehow managed a 70 for his second round….

….but then came home in 43 for an 80.

There was, though, this. The shot of the week which came on Sunday.

While Jorge Campillo, who had earlier made a NINE at an earlier par 3, made a double bogey without getting wet at the 13th..

Otherwise planes were aborting..

This was cool from Mr Cool…

And finally, welcome back to Paul Lawrie who hasn’t played on tour since last April after struggling with his back and foot. He had his son Craig on his bag, as did fellow Scot Stephen Gallacher, and he was as honest as always in his appraisal of his efforts after starting brightly with a 71 before the winds took over.

“83 blows today. Tough day with the wind and putted horrific.”

Mark Townsend

Been watching and playing golf since the early 80s and generally still stuck in this period. Huge fan of all things Robert Rock, less so white belts. Handicap of 8, fragile mind and short game

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