Photograph courtesy of LET/Tristan Jones Photography
NSW amateur star Stephanie Kyriacou shot her third consecutive round in the sixties today at Bonville Golf Resort, and is just 18-holes away from a historic and potentially life-changing win at the Geoff King Motors Australian Ladies Classic.
The 19-year-old had opened the tournament with rounds of 69 on day one and a sizzling 63 yesterday, and began the day at 12-under par, just 2 shots off the lead held by American Lauren Stephenson.
Kyriacou fell further behind after a bogey at the difficult par 4 opening hole, which amazingly was just her second dropped shot of the week so far. However, as we have begun to expect from the gritty Sydneysider, Kyriacou fought straight back with birdies at the second and fourth holes before an unexpected mistake from the greenside bunker at the sixth hole cost her a double-bogey 6.
Again the youngster bounced straight back with a birdie at the seventh hole, and another at the ninth hole to make the turn in 1-under, and headed into the back nine in a share of the lead Stephenson.
Despite the pressure of being in the final group and also in a the for the lead, Kyriacou played a faultless back nine which included birdies at the fourteenth and sixteenth holes before signing for a 3-under par 69 and a three-round total of 201, an impressive 15-under par.
Kyricaou was clearly delighted with her round today and admitted she did feel more pressure over the closing holes. When asked if she was as comfortable as she looked on the course today she said,
“Ah, No, the last couple of holes when a few more people came out to watch I was a bit scared, especially over my last putt which was only about 2 or 3 feet I was very nervous. I don’t think I have ever been in contention at a pro tournament especially going into the last round so its pretty cool.”
When asked how she would handle the pressure of leading tonight Kyriacou said,
“ I don’t really have a post-round routine, I will just go home and relax, not do too much, have a big dinner and come out and do it all again tomorrow. “
Kyriacou will take a 2-shot lead into tomorrow's final round over Stephenson, who started the day at 14-under par with a two-shot lead and could only manage a 1-over par round of 73 today.
In third place, just three shots off the lead is Korean star Ayean Cho, who for the third straight week failed to fire playing in the final group. It would be foolish though to rule the 19-year-old out, ranked 35 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings Cho is the highest-ranked player in the field this week.
A further shot back at 11-under par is Scot Gemma Dryburgh who shot a 5-under par 67, while Dutch star Anne Vam Dam is lurking a further shot back at -10.
The final round will get underway at Bonville Golf Resort on Sunday morning from am AEDT
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