Updated: Apr 17
Kurt Kitayama held off a crowded leaderboard at the Arnold Palmer Invitational to secure his first career PGA TOUR victory at the weekend.
The 30-year-old Californian put together a solid pair of 72's at the weekend, recording a final total score of -9 under. The chasing pack was a who's who of golfing superstars, with Rory McIlroy and Harris English finishing on -8 under, whilst Jordan Spieth, Scottie Scheffler, Patrick Cantlay and Tyrrell Hatton closed on -7 under.
On the 72nd hole, Kitayama found the left hand rough before gouging out a glorious 189-yard iron to the centre of the green. He rolled his 47-feet birdie putt to the edge of the cup before tapping in for par to secure the victory on what was Kitayama's 50th PGA TOUR start.
The win comes after holding his first 54-hole lead in his PGA TOUR career and makes him the first player to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational in his debut appearance since 1990. Kitayama is also the first ever winner at Bay Hill to lead/tie for the lead in both fairways hit (70%) and greens in regulation (71%).
Kurt Kitayama: WITB
Kitayama plays with TaylorMade equipment and he spent time with the TaylorMade Tour team during practice rounds to dial in spin rates and yardages on his fairway woods, while also switching from a Stealth 2 10.5° driver to Stealth 2 Plus 10.5° producing more consistent spin rates in testing.
Here's what's in Kitayama's bag for 2023:
Stealth 2 Plus 10.5° Driver
Stealth 2 16.5° 3-wood
Stealth 2 21.0° 7-wood
Milled Grind 3 52° SB, 56° LB
Spider X Hydro Blast Flow Neck
Image credit: TaylorMade Golf/Getty Images