Wednesday, 06 March 2019
Kurt Kitayama  (Getty Images)
Kurt Kitayama (Getty Images)

Kurt Kitayama is looking to continue his remarkable start to his European Tour career at this week's Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.

The American came through all three stages of the Qualifying School to earn a rookie season on the European Tour and won in just his third start at the Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open at Anahita.

He was well in contention the following week at the South African Open hosted by the City of Johannesburg and - after a marathon 33 holes on Sunday - claimed victory number two in just 11 appearances at last week's Oman Open.

The 26-year-old is taking it all in his stride and is determined not to take his foot off the accelerator at Doha Golf Club.

“It hasn’t quite sunk in yet," he said. "I’m taking it all in and enjoying it.

"It was such a long day and then I had a rush to the airport. I’ve not had the chance to think about it. I still have a few more weeks on the road and maybe we’ll celebrate when we get back to America.

“I need to ride the wave. I’m playing well. When I won in Mauritius I continued that into the SA Open. Hopefully I can do the same here. I want to take last week’s confidence into this week."

He added: “The course is a great layout. I played nine yesterday and nine today so I’ll be taking it all in.

“It’s supposed to be windy all week so it’s going to be a bit of a grind. The greens are quite firm, a little soft in the morning but yesterday afternoon they were like rocks. Some of the holes go into side-winds as well, so that makes it a little tougher.”

Thomas Pieters finished in the top six at Al Mouj Golf to make it eight consecutive top 30s in individual events on the European Tour.

Add to that a victory alongside countryman Thomas Detry at the 2018 ISPS Handa Melbourne World Cup of Golf, and Pieters does not look far away from European Tour win number four.

“My game has been feeling really good for a long time now," he said. "I’m playing tournaments again and getting confidence back is the main thing.

“I haven’t had a bad tournament yet but last week was the first time I’ve contended in a long, long time. It felt great. Winning the World Cup is different but in an individual tournament I haven’t contended in a long time.

"I’ve finished in the top 20 or 35 in my last eight starts, it’s frustrating. I’ve been there but not quite there so I hope to keep the feeling going.”

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1HARDING, JustinRSA18-13
T2CHOI, JinhoKOR18-11
T2COETZEE, GeorgeRSA18-11
T2BEZUIDENHOUT, ChristiaanRSA18-11

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