20 Nov 2020 | Professional golf |
New course record for runner-up Kyriacou
by Mark Hayes
If you’ve paid attention to her season, it would come as no surprise that Steph Kyriacou ended it with an almighty bang.
The 19-year-old Sydneysider effectively sealed the Ladies European Tour rookie of the year title overnight with one of her best performances in a year of many contenders.
Kyriacou, a member at St Michael’s in Sydney’s east, roared home with a course-record 63 at the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club to finish joint second in the Saudi Ladies Team International.
The long-time New South Wales state team player finished just two shots adrift of champion and LET No.1 Emily Pedersen, who also secured the tour’s Race to Costa Del Sol honours after her clean sweep of the Saudi Arabian swing for her third individual victory of the season.
The Dane’s team made a birdie on its last hole to edge out Kyriacou’s group by a single shot in the team event.
But it was Kyriacou who set the course alight in the final round of the 54-hole event.
Having started on the 10th with a birdie, Kyriacou quickly settled into stride with another on the 12th.
But it was on the par-4 14th when momentum really built – a wave she rode all the way to the end of her equal lowest professional round, a nine-under-par 63.
“It was a good day,” Kyriacou said with typical modesty.
“I started with a birdie, wanted to keep the momentum going, then holed out on the 14th and then chipped in on the last for eagle which was a great way to finish the year.
“I hadn’t thought about the Rookie of the Year title until my friend told me about it and then was like, `That’s cool, it would be great to win’.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play for the award and I’m so happy with my year.”
Kyriacou’s 12-under total drew her alongside Dutch ace Anne Van Dam and ahead of many LPGA Tour players in the star-studded field.
Remarkably, it caps a run of five top-five finishes in her past six starts.
Although it’s extremely unlikely she will play the season finale in Spain, she’s now up to third in the season-long Race to Costa Del Sol, despite her win in this year’s Australian Ladies Classic not counting because she was not a tour member and still an amateur.
Pedersen will win that crown with Sweden’s Julia Engstrom currently second with just the season finale to play.
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