Winner: Kurt Kitayama
After leading on the first day at the Oman Open, on Friday morning Kurt Kitayama saw his ball blown off the third green at Al Mouj into a bunker. He got up and down for a par, but the winds increased so much that a sand storm suspended play for much of the day. It meant the third round began late on Saturday and Kitayama, now one off the lead, only had time for three holes before darkness fell. He opened with a quadruple-bogey-eight and bogeyed the next two holes. “I was like, ‘Can we stop right now?’” he said. “It gave me a refresh and it was incredible coming back.”
Kitayama played the last 15 holes the next morning in seven under par for a 71 that left him three off the lead. With the same groupings going straight out for the final round, Kitayama was in the final group, which allowed him to stay in touch with a crowded leaderboard. Still two behind with three to play, Kitayama got up and down for a birdie-four at the 16th and then holed from 18 feet for a three at the 17th. The 26-year-old from California, who came through all three stages of qualifying school, won for the second time in his 11 starts on the European Tour with scores of 66, 74, 71 and 70 for a seven-under-par total of 281. “This one feels good because the first win felt like it was coming, but I came in this week off three missed cuts,” Kitayama said.
Four players shared second place, Jorge Campillo scoring 69, Maximilian Kieffer 72 after bogeying the 17th, Clement Sordet 70 with a bogey at the last and Fabrizio Zanotti, the 54-hole leader, 74 with three double bogeys, including a four-putt at the 16th.