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Wednesday, 24 April 2019
David Lipsky  (Getty Images)
David Lipsky (Getty Images)

David Lipsky and Kurt Kitayama may be great friends off the golf course but they will be looking to outdo each other and continue impressive seasons this week at the Trophée Hassan II.

The Californian duo are both now based in Las Vegas and have formed a friendship that is spurring them on to new heights in the 2019 Race to Dubai.

After coming through the Qualifying School, Kitayama won his first European Tour title at the Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open at Anahita and just two weeks later Lipsky won his second at the Alfred Dunhill Championship.

Kitayama then joined his countryman as a two time winner at the Oman Open and the duo are both currently inside the top 15 on the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex.

Lisky joined the European Tour as an affiliate member in 2014 - the same season he won the Asian Tour Order of Merit - and while the pair may be at different stages in their careers, it is clear their friendship is helping them thrive.

"Kurt and I practise a lot in Vegas and we're really close," said Lipsky. "We room together most weeks. It's fun to have a buddy out on Tour, feels less like work.

"Golf can be so gruelling, week in, week out, with the travel. Having him out here and me for him, this sort of breaks it up and lightens it up a little bit."

Kitayama added: "It's nice to have someone to travel with and ask questions, like where I should fly into, best options usually, and usually he books the hotel. I don't have to worry about that usually and once we're here, he knows where to eat, so it's good."

Lipsky will be teeing it up in his 141st European Tour event at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam and while he admits the extensive travel can have its downsides, he is not taking his globetrotting lifestyle for granted.

"I've travelled internationally pretty much since 2012," he said. "This is my sixth year on the European Tour so I'm used to it by now.

"It's tough at times, especially coming from the US, but getting to come to here to Morocco and places like this and experiencing things like playing on the Prince's course out here, it's amazing."

Kitayama has hardly stopped for breath since getting his playing privileges, playing 12 events so far this season, and is glad to get back to work after a well earned month off.

"First break of the year pretty much, after a nine week stretch, it was good to get my mind off golf a little bit and just get ready for this little stretch," he said.

"I didn't grind too hard right away and it was nice to have that little week off right away and then got back after it two weeks into the break."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1CAMPILLO, JorgeESP18-9
T2SURI, JulianUSA18-7
T2CROCKER, SeanUSA18-7
T2VAN ROOYEN, ErikRSA18-7
5LIPSKY, DavidUSA18-5
T6KAWAMURA, MasahiroJPN18-4

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