After losing by one shot to Rory Mcllroy, Xander Schauffele, and Jon Rahm on golf courses worldwide, Kurt Kitayama beat them all by one shot at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, pocketing $3.6 million and winning the red cardigan. 

The title seemed to slip from Kitayama’s grasp several times, but no one in the star-studded chasing pack capitalized on his mistakes. 

“I think just a little bit of luck finally went my way. When it’s that close at the top, that’s what you need. Anyone probably could have won it. Luckily, it just happened to be me,” Kitayama told The Muscatine Journal

Kurt Kitayama was raised by an Asian American father and a Japanese mother

Kurt Kitayama was born on 14th January 1993 to Rumiko and Clifford Kitayama. He grew up alongside his older brother, Daniel, in Chico, California.

Clifford, a renowned Entomologist in California, founded the agricultural consulting company Scientific Methods in January 1980. In 2013, Scientific Methods received the California Department of Agriculture’s Innovative Program Award. 

He left Scientific Methods in December 2014 and launched Kitayama Ag. Services, an independent agricultural consultancy firm. Clifford’s Linkedin page reads:

“Kitayama Ag Services provides monitoring of insects, disease and weeds and makes recommendations as necessary to produce an optimal crop with minimal risk and cost. Being independent allows us to be unencumbered with having to make biased recommendations tied to specific chemicals or chemical dealers.”

There’s little information available about Rumiko. Kitayama’s parents have supported his golf career since he started playing at age 5.