Kurt Kitayama edges out Rory McIlroy to win Arnold Palmer Invitational

Home > Tours > PGA Tour > Kurt Kitayama edges out Rory McIlroy to win Arnold Palmer Invitational
The American survived a triple-bogey seven to win by one shot.
Posted on
March 6, 2023
The Editorial Team in ,
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Kurt Kitayama endured an eventful final round as he edged out Rory McIlroy to claim his first PGA Tour title at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

The 30-year-old American carded a triple-bogey seven at the ninth at Bay Hill, Orlando as he attempted to defend a single-shot overnight lead, but he gathered himself to come home in 35 for a second successive 72, which got him across the line at nine under par.

Asked how he was feeling, Kitayama told Sky Sports: “Ecstatic. I’ve been dreaming of this for a while. I’ve been close and to finally get it done feels amazing.”

Asked about his emotions throughout the day, he added: “I didn’t feel too off. For the most part, I was feeling in control. One loose swing there and maybe a bad kick left, it just happened.

“My heart was pumping, but being in those situations in the past definitely helped. I found myself walking super-fast and then I was like, ‘Slow down, just take a minute’, and that really helped.”

McIlroy found himself in a four-way tie for the lead on eight under as Kitayama stood on the 17th tee, but the American’s birdie two put him a shot clear with just the final hole to play.

He dragged his tee shot at 18 into the rough but managed to find the green with his second and left a monster first putt on the lip to clinch victory.

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy had to settle for a share of second place (John Raoux/AP).

Northern Irishman McIlroy started the day three shots behind the leader and put himself in contention with a round of 70, which included seven birdies alongside five dropped shots, but he ultimately had to settle for a share of second with American Harris English.

Asked what his primary emotion was, McIlroy said: “Disappointment. I feel like I gave myself a great chance after the birdie on 13, and then playing the final five holes in one over par, with this jam-packed field, isn’t really going to get it done.

“It was a battle all day. I felt like I hung in there really well, I just came up one short in the end. But Kurt played well and did really well to hang on in that back nine.

Patrick Cantlay shot a 68 to tie for fourth with fellow American Jordan Spieth, defending champion Scottie Scheffler and England’s Tyrrell Hatton.

Pos.PlayerTo ParR1R2R3R4Total
1Kurt Kitayama-967687272279
T2Rory McIlroy-873696870280
T2Harris English-869726970280
T4Patrick Cantlay-768717468281
T4Jordan Spieth-768697470281
T4Scottie Scheffler-768726873281
T4Tyrrell Hatton-771726672281
T8Davis Riley-670697766282
T8Trey Mullinax-669737169282
T10Keegan Bradley-568777167283
T10Cameron Young-567737271283
T10Jason Day-571736970283
T10Viktor Hovland-571716675283
T14Ryan Fox-473737167284
T14Matt Fitzpatrick-470697669284
T14Ben Griffin-469727370284
T14Sahith Theegala-472707270284
T14Francesco Molinari-469757070284
T14Max Homa-470717172284
T14Pierceson Coody-474716673284
T21Sungjae Im-371717271285
T21Corey Conners-372667572285
T21Justin Thomas-372677274285
T24Webb Simpson-272727666286
T24Justin Suh-269737371286
T24Keith Mitchell-272697372286
T24Thomas Detry-269727372286
T24Adam Svensson-272736972286
T24Ludvig Aberg(a)-270707373286
T24Tony Finau-270727173286
T31Adam Scott-169717572287
T31Adam Schenk-168757272287
T31Rickie Fowler-168737373287
T34Wyndham ClarkPar70727670288
T34Tom KimPar72707670288
T34Andrew PutnamPar69757371288
T34Aaron BaddeleyPar72727371288
T34Danny WillettPar70737174288
T39Brendon Todd+175697669289
T39Si Woo Kim+171747470289
T39S.H. Kim+172747370289
T39Matthew NeSmith+171727571289
T39Robby Shelton+170757371289
T39Jon Rahm+165767672289
T39Luke Donald+171727472289
T39Emiliano Grillo+170747372289
T39Chris Kirk+167757473289
T39Taylor Montgomery+175677374289
T39Martin Laird+171727274289
T39Taylor Moore+173727074289
T39Kyle Westmoreland+169766975289
T39Xander Schauffele+168707576289
T53Davis Thompson+275717470290
T53K.H. Lee+270757471290
T53Aaron Rai+268747672290
T53Will Zalatoris+273727273290
T53Ryan Palmer+271737373290
T53Russell Henley+271757074290
T53Padraig Harrington+273707275290
T53Ben Taylor+272717176290
T61Greyson Sigg+271737770291
T61Mackenzie Hughes+274717472291
T61Tommy Fleetwood+273717473291
T61Alex Noren+273737075291
T65Cole Hammer+271737573292
T65David Lipsky+272736978292
67Shane Lowry+272708071293
T68Greg Koch+275717674296
T68Zach Johnson+273737278296
T70Will Gordon+273728469298
T70David Lingmerth+275697678298
72Seamus Power+1272747678300
CUTSepp Straka+37077--147
CUTCollin Morikawa+37473--147
CUTGarrick Higgo+37275--147
CUTAdam Hadwin+37770--147
CUTPeter Malnati+37176--147
CUTKevin Streelman+37275--147
CUTPatton Kizzire+37077--147
CUTCam Davis+37176--147
CUTTom Hoge+37374--147
CUTLucas Herbert+37473--147
CUTJ.J. Spaun+37473--147
CUTTroy Merritt+37771--148
CUTPatrick Rodgers+37276--148
CUTBilly Horschel+37375--148
CUTNick Hardy+37474--148
CUTSam Ryder+37474--148
CUTNick Taylor+36979--148
CUTThriston Lawrence+37672--148
CUTJustin Rose+37574--149
CUTHideki Matsuyama+37178--149
CUTGary Woodland+37574--149
CUTJoseph Bramlett+37673--149
CUTScott Stallings+37574--149
CUTHayden Buckley+37575--150
CUTBeau Hossler+37575--150
CUTCallum Tarren+37476--150
CUTJustin Lower+37674--150
CUTChristiaan Bezuidenhout+37377--150
CUTTaylor Pendrith+37774--151
CUTChez Reavie+37279--151
CUTCharley Hoffman+37477--151
CUTSam Burns+37774--151
CUTEric Cole+37280--152
CUTStewart Cink+37379--152
CUTAaron Wise+37973--152
CUTJoel Dahmen+37479--153
CUTLee Hodges+37677--153
CUTAlex Smalley+38073--153
CUTLucas Glover+37479--153
CUTAdrian Meronk+37381--154
CUTMin Woo Lee+37579--154
CUTRyan Brehm+37579--154
CUTLuke List+37777--154
CUTTyson Alexander+37580--155
CUTBrian Harman+37582--157
CUTKevin Kisner+37780--157
W/DByeong Hun An-75---75
DQKamaiu Johnson-7577--152
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Arnold Palmer Invitational 2023

Date: January 1st - 5th 2023

Location: Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando, Florida

Purse: $20,000,000

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