17 Jan 2020 | National Championships | Amateur golf |

#AusAm: Steph steps up in Blue battle

by Golf Australia

Steph Kyriacou and Doey Choi_image
Steph Kyriacou and Doey Choi on the 18th green. (Photo: Justin Falconer/Golf Australia)

- By Justin Falconer

It was sixth time lucky for Steph Kyriacou on Friday as she finally overcame fellow rising star and close friend Doey Choi at the 2020 #AusAm.

The NSW teammates have previously squared off five times in tournament match play, with Concord’s Choi taking the chocolates on each occasion.

And although Kyriacou watched a handy 3-UP lead vanish on the back nine, the St Michael’s member steeled herself for a 1-UP win to remember.

“It actually feels pretty good, to be honest. I’ve versed Doey many, many times!” Kyriacou said.

“I was a bit annoyed because I made some silly mistakes, but Josh [Greer], my very good caddie, helped me out.”

After starting their match on 10, Kyriacou made the turn three clear.

But Choi worked her way back into the match with wins with par at 1, 3 and 4, before the World No.134 holed birdie bomb on 6 to suddenly draw things level.

Both players were short of the par-5 7th but only Kyriacou could go up-and-down for birdie, restoring her 1-UO advantage that she wouldn’t surrender on the way back to the clubhouse.

There was more good news for Blues fans with Grace Kim getting the better of Korea’s Kerri Bong after a two-hole playoff.

Bong nailed a 20-footer on the 18th green to force extra holes, but the Avondale member kept her cool with a two-putt par on the 20th hole to progress.

Kim will take on Kelsey Bennett tomorrow in the quarter finals, after the 2019 NSW State Team member took down US-based Queenslander Emily Mahar 3&2.

But it wasn’t all bad news for the locals with Lion Higo winning 1-UP over Hye Park, while the Sunshine Coast’s Cassie Porter toppled up and coming West Australian Kirsten Rudgeley 6&5.

Korea’s Minju Kim also secured a 1-UP win over University of Colorado student Kirsty Hodgkins to set up a Saturday morning match with Kyriacou.

England’s Charlotte Heath brought more glory for the internationals, beating South Australia’s Charley Jacobs 4&2.

And the dream run of 32nd and final seed Ida Putri continued on Friday afternoon, with the Indonesian pipping New Zealand’s Carmen Lim 1-UP to advance.

Putri came out of a two-hole playoff to snatch the last women’s match play spot, before upsetting English 1-seed Emily Toy yesterday.

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