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GETTING TO KNOW… STEPHANIE KYRIACOU

Australia’s Stephanie Kyriacou
burst on to the LET scene in February with an astonishing breakthrough victory
as an amateur at the Geoff King Motors Australian Ladies Classic, romping home
by eight strokes.

The teenage sensation went on to record
two runner-up finishes and a further three top five results in an incredible
first year on Tour en-route to claiming the prestigious ‘Rookie of the Year’
title. She also showed her class in Saudi Arabia by recording a course-record
63 (-9) at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club.

We caught up with one of Australia’s best in our latest series of ‘Getting to know’…

Hometown: Kensington, Australia

Home Course: St Michaels Golf Course

Age: 20

Started Golf: 4-years-old

School: High School

Turned pro: 2020

Handicap: +6

I’d love to make more history. I’ll never forget my
rookie year. Following in the footsteps of the likes of Annika, Suzanna
Pettersen and co means a lot to me. It’s crazy to think that because of
everything that has happened with the pandemic, there won’t be a new rookie
class of 2021, so I have chance to win it again. That definitely excites me.

Golf Australia helped me get here. I was coached and
grew up under the guidance of Golf NSW but they fall under Golf Australia. Ultimately,
they were one of the reasons I was able to come on the massive trip to Europe for
the season and if I had not done that, I would never have won Rookie of the Year.
I can’t thank them enough.

I’ve got no idea why Australia produces good golfers.
I wouldn’t class myself in the same category as some of the major players to
come out of Australia, but I am proud to represent them away from home. I think
one of the reason’s is because there is a good, strong amateur circuit and
there are some great courses. If you add all of that up, combined with a good
work ethic, you can see why the country produces golfers.

Winning in Bonville changed my life.  I am so pleased I turned pro. It was lucky I
guess but it worked out for me. I was going to go to Q-School last year, which
we now know did not take place, so if I hadn’t have won, I would be stuck as an
amateur for another year. That would have been so tough because I felt ready to
turn pro. It kind of shows that one week in this game can change everything.

I feel like I play better when the cameras come out. For
some reason or another I had quite a few good final rounds last year and people
have started saying ‘you putt so good down the stretch’ and things like that
and I honestly didn’t know it was a thing. If they could all see me on the
front nine, I miss a few from inside six feet. I think I subconsciously like
the expectation of a crowd.

People think I need a new putter grip. One day back home
when I was practicing it started coming off, so I peel it when I play with anyone
that is a bit slow while I am waiting. It is getting worse but since I am
putting so well, I don’t want to get rid of it. I peeled the white patch in
Saudi Arabia when I shot the course record, so it is weird that my mind goes
off to these sort of things.

I would give the year an A+ grade. If you told me at
the start of the year what I would do in my first year I would give it an A+
but being here and feeling in the moment, I feel like I could have actually
done better, so maybe more like a straight ‘A’. I don’t want to sound big
headed but I have made so many silly mistakes that were in my control, but I am
learning about being a professional and the reality is, I am still stoked with
my season.

My Dad doesn’t trust me to travel alone. I don’t think he wants to leave me alone to travel, if one of my friends from Australia was on Tour, I think he would be a bit more chilled but at the end of the day, I love having him around. I still feel quite young and that I need to learn a thing or two, so I am happy. My Dad was there when I won, and he has been on the bag all year. He sacrificed a lot coming out to Europe for me, he was still checking in with his work beck home before and after each round and he has helped me so much.  

Quickfire Q&A

  1. Who is your hero? Karrie Webb
  2. What makes you happiest? Sushi
  3. Best travel buddy? Dad, for now.
  4. Desert island dish? Waffles with caramel
    topping
  5. Golfing superstitions? My putter grip.
    I can’t change it while I am putting good.
  6. What is your most treasured possession? My
    putter
  7. What would you sing at karaoke? Always
    remember us this way, Lady Gaga
  8. Favourite Course? Poppy Hills,
    California.
  9. Dream fourball? Tiger Woods, Jack
    Nicklaus and Ben Hogan

Source: Ladies Eurpean Tour