Course record and Euro rookie award cap fairytale year for Kyriacou

“I’m really happy with how I have gone and I have achieved a lot. I have achieved more than I expected too, so I’m stoked,” Kyriacou said.

It was a long way from a year that started for Kyriacou by being knocked out of the Australian Amateur at the semi-final stage and being beaten in the quarter-finals of the NSW Amateur on her home course of St Michaels.

It wasn’t the start to 2020 that one of the best golfing talents in the country wanted.

However, Kyriacou’s world changed in a week in February when she won the Australian Ladies Classic at Bonville by eight shots. That was a European Tour event. The next week, she turned professional and has been the revelation of the European Tour with five top-five finishes.

“It has definitely been a rollercoaster. It has been a big learning curve as well,” Kyriacou said. “This is probably the worst it is going to get with Covid.

“I have had flights cancelled, and we rearrange and figure out what countries we can go to, so it has been an up and down year.

“Everything has worked out for the best, and I have had a good year.”

Steph Kyriacou with her dad and caddie Nick Kyriacou at the Women’s Open at Royal Troon.Credit:Getty Images

Kyriacou was runner-up in the Swiss Open, led the Open Championship at Royal Troon in August and it seemed apt that she finished her first year as a professional by shooting a course record.

Her final round at Royal Greens included two eagles: a hole-out for two from the fairway on the par-4 14th and a chip-in three on her final hole for the year, the ninth.

However, it hasn’t been plain sailing after he had to stay in Europe following the Open Championship after having two flights cancelled that were to take her and father Nick, who is her caddie, home.


It forced them to spend nearly two months in Cyprus before finishing the year with a top-20 in the Dubai Moonlight Classic and a fourth in the $1 million Saudi Ladies International last weekend.

Kyriacou will miss the final event of the year to return home to Sydney at the weekend and is already setting goals for 2021.

“A win would be nice. Hopefully, everything is back to normal but I’m going to set some higher goals next year,” she said.

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Pedersen wins Saudi title, Kyriacou shines

Denmark’s Emily Kristine Pedersen edged past Georgia Hall in a playoff hole to win the inaugural Saudi Ladies International title as teenage Australian prospect Stephanie Kyriacou ended another fine week by finishing fourth.

England’s Hall let slip a three-shot lead in the closing stages of the tournament on Sunday. She was in control with five holes to play, but bogeyed the 16th and missed an eight-foot birdie putt for the win.

Pedersen, in contrast, sank two birdies in her last five holes to force the playoff after both players ended tied on 10-under par.

Pedersen birdied the first extra hole to claim her third Ladies European Tour crown after her victories at the Indian Open in 2015 and the Czech Open in August.

Kyriacou shot another fine final round of 69 to finish equal fourth on a total of seven-under-par 281.

It was the fifth time in her rookie professional season that the 19-year-old has finished in the top-10.

A measure of her achievement is that Kyriacou is now fourth in the Race to Costa Del Sol, the tour’s order of merit, even having played two tournaments less than each of the trio ahead of her, headed by Pedersen.

“It’s very special,” Pedersen said of her win. “I’m very happy that I got to be the first person to win a tournament here and I think it’s great we’re playing here.

“The country has a bright future in golf and hopefully we’ll be back for many years.

“I’m really proud that I got it back twice, I feel like I was out of it at the start of the front nine, then again at the start of the back nine but I kept fighting back.”

The event at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club was the first professional women’s golf tournament to be held in Saudi Arabia and the third-highest paying LET event after the British and Scottish Open, with a total prize purse of $US1 million ($A1.4 million).

Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall finished third on eight-under, one shot ahead of Dutchwoman Anne van Dam and Kyriacou.

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