Published on January 28, 2018

Maiden Win for Kitayama at the PGM Darulaman Championship

American Kurt Kitayama completed a stunning wire-to-wire victory at the PGM Darulaman Championship to win his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) title.

The 25-year-old rookie closed with a two-under-par 70 to defeat a relentless John Catlin, who settled for second place at the RM225,000 (approximately US$55,000) ADT event.

It was a dramatic final day where Kitayama’s five-shot lead was erased by a battling Catlin, who fired three birdies and a 10-foot eagle putt on the 10th hole to draw level with his countryman.

Kitayama, who finished tied-3rd in Qualifying School in January, responded with clutch birdie putts on holes 16 and 18 to secure his first title in Asia with a winning total of 21-under-par 267.

“Before hole 10 I felt tight all around and it got to all square, after hole 11 I finally felt more relaxed and was loosening up. I still wasn’t making good shots but I was making good pars and good saves. I was on a cold stretch where I wasn’t giving myself a lot of good looks. I just told myself to stay patient since I still had a lot of golf left and I just needed to give myself more opportunities along the way,” said Kitayama.

After playing two years on the Tour, Kitayama was delighted to taste success in Asia. He pocketed US$10,096.15 for his victory.

“I’ve been excited for the schedule I’m hoping to get some sponsor invites after this if not I’ll just have a break after this to go home and just relax. I am hoping to get one of the earlier starts like New Zealand or Perth if not then I think I’ll take a good break,” added Kitayama.

Two-time ADT winner John Catlin prides himself on his solid ball-striking this week to finish with a career best four-day tournament total of 269.

“I gave it my all. Hole 10 was when it got real. Making that eagle putt just gave me a good chance. Other than a miss hit on hole 12 I played some phenomenal golf today. I was so close, just kept telling myself to keep going. I had a birdie putt on every single hole on the back nine. It was great playing with Kurt he’s a good player, hits the ball miles and you could have sizzled my steak medium rare on his putter the last two days,” said Catlin.

Thailand’s Donlaphatchai Niyomchon finished third following a 71 while Nitithorn Thippong, also from Thailand, carded a 67 to settle for fourth place on 277.

Leading final round scores:

  • 267 – Kurt KITAYAMA (USA) 63 70 64 70
  • 269 – John CATLIN (USA) 68 68 66 67
  • 276 – Donlaphatchai NIYOMCHON (THA) 71 69 65 71
  • 277 – Nitithorn THIPPONG (THA) 68 73 69 67
  • 278 – Itthipat BURANATANYARAT (THA) 68 72 69 69
  • 280 – Kwanchai TANNIN (THA) 70 69 69 72
  • 281 – Mohammad WAFIYUDDIN (MAS) 75 70 72 64
  • 282 – Thepbodin AMARANAN (THA) 74 68 74 66, Kemarol BAHARIN (MAS) 71 72 72 67, Thanpisit OMSIN (THA) 72 70 70 70