Kurt Kitayama of the USA fired a closing 68 to win the Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open by two strokes from S Chikkarangappa and Matthieu Pavon.
Kurt Kitayama wins Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open
America’s Kurt Kitayama claimed his first European Tour victory in just his third start on the circuit with a two-shot win over Frenchman Matthieu Pavon and S Chikkarangappa of India at Four Seasons GC at Anahita.
Kitayama, who earned his playing privileges in Q school last month, started the final day at Anahita tied for the lead on 16-under-par with Justin Harding of South Africa.
It was Harding who made the first move with a birdie on the 2nd hole. But Kitayama struck back with a birdie on the 3rd and then an eagle on the 4th.
Kitayama doubled his advantage after sinking a 10-foot putt at the short 5th to reach 20-under-par for the tournament.
After missing a par putt at the 7th to drop his first shot of the day, Kitayama steadied the ship with a gutsy par save at the short 8th after his tee-shot had found sand.
A run of pars was broken when Kitayama tapped in for a birdie at the long 13th, and he found himself three shots clear at the top of the board when Matthieu Pavon dropped a shot at the 15th.
But a bogey from Kitayama at the 16th, coupled with birdies from Chikkarangappa and Pavon at the 17th, saw the American’s advantage cut to just one shot. Kitayama held his nerve and holed a tough birdie putt on the 17th green to double his lead and take a two-shot cushion to the final hole.
He played the par-5 sensibly and with a comfortable par, he took his first wins on the European Tour, Asian Tour and Sunshine Tour.
Matthieu Pavon and S Chikkarangappa both closed with rounds of 67 to share second spot with Justin Harding making a birdie at the final hole to post a 71 and claim solo fourth place.
Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open at Anahita
Four Seasons GC Mauritius at Anahita, Beau Champ, Mauritius
29 November – 2 December
Purse: €1,000,000 Par: 72
1 Kurt Kitayama (USA) 65 65 70 68 268
T2 S. Chikkarangappa (Ind) 64 68 71 67 270
T2 Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 67 66 70 67 270
4 Justin Harding (RSA) 67 69 64 71 271
T5 Dylan Frittelli (RSA) 69 70 68 65 272
T5 Masahiro Kawamura (Jap) 65 71 67 69 272
T7 Antoine Rozner (Fra) 70 68 70 66 274
T7 Oliver Bekker (RSA) 67 69 70 68 274
T7 Max Schmitt (Ger) 71 66 69 68 274
T7 Grant Forrest (Sco) 70 71 65 68 274
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage