It may feel the same, but Stephanie Kyriacou knows it’s also a whole lot different when she tees it up as defending champion at this year’s Australian Master of the Amateurs which begins tomorrow at Victoria Golf Club.
The 18-year-old arrives as the player to beat in the 48-strong women’s division.
“I’m not really feeling it myself, but I guess there is a bit more pressure,” she replied when asked about the defence. “As defending champion, I’m sure there’s a different level of expectation.”
Kyriacou reigned supreme at the 2019 Championship at nearby Royal Melbourne Golf Club, her four-round score of 290 was enough taking the women’s crown by two shots.
“I remember I was so confident over my putter, I holed everything. Obviously it got me the win. It felt soo good”.
Kyriacou admitted to more than just a moment or two in the final round last year but said the fear of missing out drove her over the line.
“I knew I was leading by a few; I just didn’t want to choke,” she grinned.
Kyriacou is part of an eight-strong contingent of New South Wales female athletes for the 2020 championship.
Joining her are Sophie Yip, Grace Kim, Doey Choi, Kelsey Bennett and Amy Chu, who is back from college in the US, Victorian Amateur Runner-Up June Song from Avondale, and Darcy Habgood of Nambucca Heads, who is competing alongside Chu at the University of Washington.