23 Feb 2020 | Professional golf |
Kyriacou's greatest day in golf
by Martin Blake
Sydney's Steph Kyriacou has conjured the greatest day of her golfing life, obliterating the field in the Australian Ladies Classic in Bonville and winning her first professional event as an amateur.
Kyriacou, 19, one of Australia's top amateurs, won by a stunning eight shots to give herself a big decision to make over the next fortnight.
Starting the final day with a two-shot lead, a run of six birdies on the front nine put the result beyond doubt.
Nerves did not enter the equation as her playing partners, South Korean Ayean Cho and American Lauren Stephenson, fell away.
Kyriacou, who hails from Botany in eastern Sydney and plays out of St Michaels Golf Club, led by 10 shots by the time she birdied the 10th hole. She was able to coast in with a 65, the lowest round of the day, posting 22-under par overall.
She follows the likes of Minjee Lee and Aaron Baddeley among Australians to have won a big tour event as an amateur.
“I got off to a slow start again on the first but then it just clicked,” she said later. “I had a run of five birdies in a row I think and just….everything was going my way. I honestly don’t know what to think right now. I’m lost for words, it’s just amazing." Kyriacou cannot collect the 36,000 Euro first prize as an amateur. That was left to Cho at 14-under, the Korean playing in the final group for the third straight tournament. For Kyriacou, though, the fact that the tournament is sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour has major significance. It entitles her to full playing rights for two years as a tournament winner, but to take it up, she must turn professional.
She has two weeks to decide, and said after today's win that she had not even contemplated it.
As a Master of the Amateurs champion and Queensland and Victorian state amateur champion, she was always looking to turn pro. But this brings everything into sharp perspective.
Kyriacou's triumph continues an astonishing run of wins by Australian players on the golf tours of the world.
Six men -- Lucas Herbert, Wade Ormsby, Min Woo Lee, Marc Leishman, Cameron Smith and Adam Scott -- have already won tournaments around the world in 2020.
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