APR 2019

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C hico native Kurt Kitayama has quickly made himself at home on the PGA European Tour. The 26- year-old former UNLV standout, who honed his game in part by competing in NCGA events, won the Oman Open at Al Mouj Golf in early March after carding a final round 70 for a seven-under- par total of 281 to finish one shot ahead of four players. It was his second European Tour victory in just his 10th start since getting his card at last year's Qualifying School—also a one-shot win over four players. Kitayama, who picked up a check for $291,000, won the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open in just his third tour start. "This one feels really good because when I won the first one I was playing really well and it just felt like it was coming," he said. "This week I came in off three missed cuts and not having good weekends in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. It feels great to grind through all of that." The win pushed Kitayama into prime position to become the first American to be named Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year since Peter Uihlein in 2013. NorCal's Kurt Kitayama a Force on PGA European Tour AP PHOTO NCGA ALUMNI

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