- American earns maiden PGA Tour win in Florida
- Spieth, Hatton and Scheffler also in mix on dramatic final day
Nobody can claim Kurt Kitayama earned his maiden PGA Tour win the easy way. The Californian recovered from a triple bogey at the 9th hole of his final round and held off the challenge of Rory McIlroy to prevail at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. For his efforts, $3.6m (£2.99m) and high praise from an otherwise rueful McIlroy. “It was a great back nine, it was great to be involved in,” said McIlroy. “I’m really happy for Kurt. He’s been playing well for a while now and I’m happy to see him get his first win.”
At the last, Kitayama, 30, rolled a glorious 48ft putt to within millimetres of the cup. McIlroy, watching on from the scoring area, knew his eight under par total – Harris English shared that aggregate – would be insufficient for a playoff. Kitayama’s birdie two at the penultimate hole proved the key moment of a gripping finale. At one stage, not long before close of play, five golfers shared the lead at minus eight. Kitayama’s fortitude prevailed.
Written by Ewan Murray at Bay Hill
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2023/mar/05/kurt-kitayama-holds-off-mcilroy-to-win-thrilling-arnold-palmer-invitational-golf under the title “Kurt Kitayama holds off McIlroy to win thrilling Arnold Palmer Invitational”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.