22 Feb 2020 | Professional golf |
Kyriacou on verge of groundbreaker
Sydney teenager Stephanie Kyriacou is 18 holes away from the biggest win of her life after grabbing a two-shot lead after three rounds in the Australian Ladies Classic at Bonville. Kyriacou, from Maroubra in Sydney's eastern suburbs, produced an almost faultless display of golf as her more fancied playing partners, Korean Ayean Cho and American Lauren Stephenson stumbled. The amateur tyro added a 69 to go with her opening two rounds of 69 and 63 to sit at 15 under. Kyriacou will begin Sunday with a two-shot lead over Stephenson, and another shot in front of Cho who is in outright third. Scotland's Gemma Dryburgh is in fourth at 11-under while Dutch sensation Anne Van Dam is alone in fifth at 10-under. The talk today, however, was all about Kyriacou. Starting her round with a nervous bogey, she quickly bounced back with a birdie on the second and another on the fourth. After finding the greenside bunker with her approach on the sixth, she failed to extricate herself from the sand with her first swipe, then left a lengthy bogey putt with an only marginally better second attempt. The double-bogey could easily have derailed her day, but instead, it seemed to have the opposite effect and strengthen her resolve. She regrouped immediately at the par-5 seventh, striping a driver and ripping a three-wood to the heart of the green to give herself a chance to reclaim both shots. Her eagle putt went close, but she walked off satisfied with the birdie. More significantly, it set things straight in the youngster's mind as well. Another birdie on the ninth finally erased the memory of the sixth hole snafu before the steely determined NSW representative showed the following gallery why she is a star of the future with a faultless homeward nine of two under 34, ensuring her name is on top of the leaderboard with a round to go. Kyriacou admitted there were plenty of nerves post-round, but was thrilled with her score, the lowest three-round total in the young tournament's history, and the first time she has ever led in a professional event. "I am hitting it well, and playing well, and it's exciting to be at the top of the leaderboard," she said. "There is a lot of golf left, and all I can do is try my best and keep doing what I am doing. No one knows what will happen tomorrow, but I am just going to try to enjoy it."
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