'The Ultimate Flex' - Social Media Reacts After Kurt Kitayama Marks Tap-In Winning Putt

How social media reacted after Kurt Kitayama's decided to mark his tap-in putt to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Screenshot of Kurt Kitayama marking his putt next to the hole

Kurt Kitayama had to two-putt from 47ft to win his first ever PGA Tour event and he so nearly rolled it in to produce what would be yet another iconic moment on the 18th green at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

His putt somehow stopped short of the hole to leave him a literal tap-in to win, and golf fans on social media went wild after he decided to place a coin behind his ball and mark it. His TaylorMade TP5x, marked with two Ks, was hanging on the edge of the hole and he decided to wait a little longer before officially sealing the victory.

It's tradition that the winner usually likes to wait until their playing partners are finished before tapping in for victory but fans were expecting Kitayama to go and tap his putt in and wait for playing partner Viktor Hovland to finish out before celebrating the win.

However, he instead opted to leave his marker around an inch away from the hole to let the moment sink in before tapping in for his first ever PGA Tour victory and a check of $3.6m.

"When I marked it and walked over to Tim [his caddie] and just, like, a big sigh of relief, really, you know, that this was really happening," Kitayama said.

Following his putt coming up just short, fans were quick to post the images on social media, with No Laying Up saying: "Straight to the #TourSauce museum".

Here's how social media reacted:

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The victory was Kitayama's fourth professional win, after two DP World Tour triumphs and one on the Asian Development Tour. His win also earned him a spot in this year's Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.

He moves to a career-high 19th in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV