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Kitayama goes 65-65 to lead by two shots at Mauritius Open

Kurt Kitayama
Getty Images

BEAU CHAMP, Mauritius – Kurt Kitayama opened a two-shot lead halfway through the Mauritius Open with a second successive 65 on Friday.

Kitayama moved to 14 under par overall and ahead of co-overnight leader Chikkarangappa S (68), who was alone in second.

Victor Perez (69), who shared the lead with Chikkarangappa after the first round, was tied for third, with fellow Frenchman Matthieu Pavon (66) a shot further back on 11 under.

Full-field scores from the AfrAsia Bank Mauritiuis Open

Kitayama, who came through qualifying school to join the European Tour for the new 2019 season, made nine birdies. His only slip was a double-bogey seven on No. 2 at the Ernie Els-designed Four Seasons Golf Course.

The American responded to that disappointment, his only dropped shots of the opening two rounds, with a run of four straight birdies to get back on track.

Four-time major winner Els carded a 2-under 70 and was tied for 25th at 5 under overall.

The Mauritius Open is co-sanctioned by the European, Asian and South African tours.