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Mar 6th, 2023

Kitayama holds off McIlroy to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational

American claims his first PGA Tour Title with a one-shot victory

Kurt Kitayama held off the challenge of Rory McIlroy to claim the Arnold Palmer Invitational by a single shot. McIlroy had a chance to take it to extra holes but missed his 10-foot birdie effort on the 18th.

American Kitayama birdied the 17th to reach nine under and a par on the last was good enough to claim his maiden PGA Tour win.
"I've been dreaming of this for a while," he said. "I've been close and to finally get it done feels amazing."
Kitayama had an eventful opening nine holes, including three birdies, a bogey and a triple bogey at the 9th. He then steadied the ship rattling off seven straight pars before the birdie at the 17th and the closing par for an even-par 72.

McIlroy also had an up-and-down final round with five bogeys and seven birdies as he shot two-under on the last day.
"It's disappointing," said McIlroy. "I felt like I gave myself a great chance after a birdie on the 13th and then to play the final five holes in one over par, with this jam-packed leaderboard, isn't really going to get it done.
"It was a battle all day. I felt like I hung in there really well and just came up one short in the end."

The man from Northern Ireland had to settle for a share of second place alongside Harris English of America, who matched McIlroy's closing 70.
Defending championย  Scottie Scheffler finished with a one-over 73 to finish in a tie for fourth alongside countrymen Patrick Cantlay (68) and Jordan Speith (70)ย  and England's Tyrrell Hatton (72).

TAGS: PGA Tour, Kurt Kitayama, Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler, Tyrrell Hatton, 2023