Mother Nature seems to be winning the $1.75 million Oman Open.
Desert storms and darkness have played havoc with the second and third rounds, with organizers struggling to get the tournament into its allotted four days.
Germany’s Maximilian Kieffer holds the lead on 139, 5-under-par, but he’s only played three holes of his third round. South Africa’s Brandon Stone, Joachim B. Hansen and India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar share second place on 4-under. Stone and Bhullar have played four holes of their third rounds while Hansen is three holes into his.
With high winds forcing suspension of most of day two, many players had to finish their second rounds on Saturday. The third round didn’t start until 3:20 p.m. Muscat time, with 36-hole leaders Kieffer and Hansen teeing off at 5:10 p.m. Three holes later, they had to come off the course because of darkness.
Kurt Kitayama’s chances of a third European Tour win in just his 10th start aren’t promising. The UNLV alumnus held the first-round lead and was even-par through 13 holes of his second round when play was suspended on Friday. Unfortunately, he bogeyed two of the last five holes when he returned to the golf course on Saturday morning.
The 26-year-old California native was just one stroke off the lead after 36 holes, but shot himself out of the tournament on the opening hole of his third round. Kitayama ran up a quadruple bogey on the par-4 No. 1. He then bogeyed his next two holes and was six over for his third round when darkness brought pay to a halt.
Kitayama, who won the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open in his third start after securing his 2019 European Tour card through the Qualifying School, is currently in a tie for 35th place.