Stephanie Kyriacou’s life changed on Feb. 23, 2020. Then a 19-year-old elite amateur, the Sydney native dominated the LET’s Australian Ladies Classic Bonville, taking an eight-stroke victory and immediately turning professional. She had no way to know that just weeks later, the world would shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, turning that professional opportunity into even more of a good-luck moment.
“I was kind of lucky that I won this tournament as an amateur. I played well, but the timing was good because one of my best mates, Grace Kim, she's obviously a top amateur, but she didn't win, had to come to Q-School this year. She hardly played last year,” said Kyriacou. “So I think I've been very lucky in a sense. It's always grateful, but, it's still been a rollercoaster.”
Once play resumed, Kyriacou picked right up where she left off, adding a second LET win to her resume at the 2021 Big Green Egg Open, earning 12 top-10s and making the cut in her first two major appearances. Her Rolex Women’s World Amateur Rankings position was No. 806 when she won in Bonville. Now as a pro, it’s No. 77, the third-highest Australian after major champions Minjee Lee and Hannah Green. Her two years on the LET took her to more countries than she could have imagined and paved her way to this week’s success.
“I think it's a good pathway to the LPGA,” said Kyriacou. “I've made so many friends out there and you learn so much about your game playing in tournament mode and stuff.”
Kyriacou came to Alabama directly from Spain and the LET’s season-ending Andalucia Costa Del Sol Open De Espana. As all globe-hopping professional golfers know, jet lag is real and Kyriacou said the first few days in Mobile were rough. “I remember saying to my caddie, Luke, on some of the holes, I'm like, ‘I do not remember this hole at all,’” she said with a laugh.
But once the jet lag subsided, Kyriacou showed the LPGA Q-Series field the same fighting spirit she displayed on the LET. Her fourth-round 63 was the lowest round of the week, sending Kyriacou on to next week’s four rounds with the knowledge that she has what it takes to compete on the LPGA Tour.
“Lots of confidence now.” Everyone watch out for Stephanie Kyriacou.