“Underdog Kurt Kitayama shocks golf world with stunning victory at Arnold Palmer Invitational”

Kurt Kitayama claimed his first PGA Tour title after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida. The 28-year-old Californian began the final round two shots behind the overnight leader, Lee Westwood, but shot a closing 71 to finish on eight under par, one shot ahead of Aaron Rai.

Kitayama, who had been playing on the European Tour, had to come through the Monday qualifying to get into the field for the tournament. But he showed no signs of nerves as he played with great consistency throughout the week.

Westwood, who had led the tournament for the first three days, was unable to maintain his form on the final day and dropped three shots in the first five holes. He eventually finished in a tie for fourth place on six under par, alongside Bryson DeChambeau, who had been seeking his second successive win on the PGA Tour.

Rai produced a stunning final round of 67, but it was not quite enough to catch Kitayama, who made a clutch birdie on the 16th hole to regain the lead after briefly being caught by the Englishman.

Kitayama’s win is his first on either the PGA Tour or the European Tour, and he said afterwards that it was a dream come true to win at Bay Hill, which has been one of his favourite courses since he was a child.

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