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We are all proud of Kurt Kitayama | Editorial

We were all pretty united there for a few hours, weren’t we?

It appeared that almost every sports fan, as well as Chico fans in general, was riveted to the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday to support Kurt Kitayama, one of our own. The event took place in gymnasiums, restaurants, sports bars, and private residences.

The graduate of Chico High School in 2011 entered the final round of the tournament as the leader. Despite facing numerous obstacles, he went on to win the tournament, his first as a member of the PGA Tour, in a manner that made us all feel proud.

After all, the folks in the north state adore nothing more than hearing something like, “We showed them big-timers, didn’t we?” story. That made it more fun to support Kitayama in the final round against the best golfers.

Here’s one: A well-read golf writer for CBS Sports, Patrick McDonald, wrote about the final round on the morning of the tournament, noting that there were a lot of good golfers who had a good chance of winning. Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler, and others, for example; He listed eleven individuals as potential Palmer title contenders.

Who exactly did McDonald never mention in his preview of the final round?

Kurt Kitayama, the tournament’s leader, would be that.

Nothing comes easily on a golf course, as anyone who has ever sliced a 3-wood can attest. Kitayama hasn’t had it easy in his career either; Before receiving his PGA Tour card in September 2021, he competed on nearly a half-dozen different tours worldwide.

Could his first victory have occurred in any other way, given his tenacity?

After his triple bogey on the par-4 ninth on Sunday cost him the lead, some broadcasters basically dismissed him. One person made the observation that golfers simply do not win tournaments after making a triple bogey in the final round or after hitting two balls out of bounds simultaneously. Everyone took note of the allegations made by Spieth, McIlroy, and co.

However, Kitayama persevered in a manner characteristic of his entire career. Within the first six holes, the announcers stopped talking about Spieth and started showing pictures of Kitayama when he was a Chico High basketball player.

Kitayama stated, “Things went south on nine, and all of a sudden, I am not leading anymore.” I’m happy with how hard I fought back just now, and I’m proud of myself. I stated to Cadet Tim Tucker that I did not feel at all agitated. “You look good,” he said. We’ll just keep moving forward; We will return it.'”

Yes, get it back. Kitayama regained the lead with a 13-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th, while others on the leaderboard faltered due to a string of missed putts.

His long birdie putt almost missed the hole on the 18th, where he needed only two putts to win the tournament. It almost hung on the lip. It seemed fitting that he could take a deep breath and tap one in for his first career win, which was worth $3.6 million and nearly doubled his career earnings after such a long and difficult battle.

The significance of that victory to individuals all over the north state cannot be overstated. Through phone calls and social media, word of Kitayama’s back-9 charge spread, resulting in thousands of comments on Facebook and Twitter. For a couple of hours there, nearly no one was squabbling over governmental issues; They were coming together in support of one of our own, serving as yet another reminder of the spirit of cooperation that is so distinctive to the sporting world.

Being from the Chico area made it an even better day to be a sports fan. Kurt, thank you for making us all proud on a wonderful day of much-needed north state unity.

After his triple bogey on the par-4 ninth on Sunday cost him the lead, some broadcasters basically dismissed him. One person made the observation that golfers simply do not win tournaments after making a triple bogey in the final round or after hitting two balls out of bounds simultaneously. Everyone took note of the allegations made by Spieth, McIlroy, and co.

However, Kitayama persevered in a manner characteristic of his entire career. Within the first six holes, the announcers stopped talking about Spieth and started showing pictures of Kitayama when he was a Chico High basketball player.

Kitayama stated, “Things went south on nine, and all of a sudden, I am not leading anymore.” I’m happy with how hard I fought back just now, and I’m proud of myself. I stated to Cadet Tim Tucker that I did not feel at all agitated. “You look good,” he said. We’ll just keep moving forward; We will return it.'”

Yes, get it back. Kitayama regained the lead with a 13-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th, while others on the leaderboard faltered due to a string of missed putts.

His long birdie putt almost missed the hole on the 18th, where he needed only two putts to win the tournament. It almost hung on the lip. It seemed fitting that he could take a deep breath and tap one in for his first career win, which was worth $3.6 million and nearly doubled his career earnings after such a long and difficult battle.

The significance of that victory to individuals all over the north state cannot be overstated. Through phone calls and social media, word of Kitayama’s back-9 charge spread, resulting in thousands of comments on Facebook and Twitter. There, almost nobody disagreed about politics for a few hours; They were coming together in support of one of our own, serving as yet another reminder of the spirit of cooperation that is so distinctive to the sporting world.

Being from the Chico area made it an even better day to be a sports fan. Kurt, thank you for making us all proud on a wonderful day of much-needed north state unity.

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