04 Jul 2021 | Professional golf |
Dutch delight for Kyriacou
By David Tease, Golf NSW
Steph Kyriacou has gone wire-to-wire to claim her second Ladies Europen Tour crown overnight in the Netherlands. Kyriacou was flawless on Saturday, producing a bogey-free round of 67 to go with her opening rounds of 66,72 & 65 to win the Big Green Egg Open at Rosendaelsche Golf Club near Arnhem.
Her 18 under par total was enough to win by two from her final-round playing partner, Finland's Sanna Nuutinen (-16), with Scotland's Kylie Henry in third place at 10 under. After starting the day tied for the lead with the Finn, Kyriacou was again hot out of the blocks; a birdie on the first made her intentions clear. She then converted back-to-back chances on the fifth and sixth to get to three under for the day and out to a handy two-shot lead by the turn. Nuutinen, however, wasn't giving up, and when she rolled in three straight birdies on the 12th, 13th and 14th, the pair were again tied. Kyriacou, though, is made of stern stuff, and she responded in the best way possible with a birdie on the short par-three 16th. With pressure building, Kyriacou doubled down with another birdie on the par-five 17th. The Finn stumbled with a bogey, and suddenly The St. Michael’s tyro had a two-shot lead with a hole to spare. The walk up the last should've been a triumphant one for the 2020 LET Rookie of the Year, however, a couple of wayward shots nearly unraveled all of her great work in the final round. After hitting her drive right, Kyriacou hooked her approach left leaving herself with a tricky up-and-down for par. "I don't know what I was thinking, there was rubbish in front of me and I thought if I just chip this over and land it somewhere up there for a par putt and I did exactly that. It was a huge weight off my shoulders.," A triumphant Kyriacou grinned. The win is Kyriacou's first as a professional, having won the 2020 Geoff King Motors Australian Ladies Classic Bonville while still an amateur. "There was some great golf out there, Sanna [Nuutinen] played really well, and she holed some really long putts. It was pretty tight, and I was a bit nervous. "I'm buzzing! I forgot what it was like to win, it has been a little bit of time. It is something pretty special," she added. Like her victory at Bonville, Kyriacou had some special company on her bag this week. Dad, Nick, again on caddie duties like he was last February when she announced herself to the golfing world. "He has been there since day one. He spent all his time and energy when I was little, so to have him on the bag for a win is pretty special," she added. Kyriacou also thanked the legions of family and friends back home who endured a rather long wait while in COVID lockdown. "All my friends stayed up to watch my score," she smiled. The win vaults Kyriacou into second place on the LET Race to Costa del Sol standings. Nuutinen leads on 932.42 points and Kyriacou second on 845.58, Thailand's Thitikul is in third with 804.17.
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