MUSCAT, Oman – Kurt Kitayama kept up his impressive first season on the European Tour by shooting a 6-under 66 at the Oman Open to take a one-stroke lead after the first round on Thursday.
After coming through all three stages of Q-School in November to earn a place on tour, Kitayama won the Mauritius Open on just his third start of the season.
He holed a 15-foot putt for eagle at the par-5 12th hole and rolled in four birdies in a bogey-free round at Al Mouj Golf Club.
''I have a few more opportunities to play after my win,'' Kitayama said. ''It makes it easier to plan my schedule but it's my first year and I want to see most of the courses to plan for next year.''
Scott Jamieson of Scotland and Yusaku Miyazato of Japan were tied for second place after rounds of 67 before play was suspended because of darkness. Only one group hadn't finished.
Three French players – Raphael Jacquelin, Alexander Levy and Adrien Saddier – were in a seven-man share of fourth place, a further shot back.