Defending Champion Steph Kyriacou has fired an ominous warning to her opponents after carding a second-round 66 at the Australian Master of the Amateurs.
Starting on the back nine, the St. Michael’s Tyro was faultless in the testing afternoon conditions at Victoria Golf Club with back-to-back birdies on the 12th and 13th, before a chip-and-putt birdie from the back of the 18th green to turn at three-under.
Kyriacou doubled down on the back nine with another birdie on the 3rd, before closing her round out with birdies on the 8th and 9th to get to six under for the round and the tournament, and with it, a share of the clubhouse lead.
It was sick,” she beamed. “I birdied the holes I needed to birdie, that’s all.”
Asked about the difficulty of the course in the testing afternoon conditions and how well she had handled her game, Kyriacou said it was all about taking it one shot at a time.
“When the wind picked up, it got tricky, especially on my back nine.
“It made club selection hard, and I put myself in some bad spots, but I managed to get up and down.”
Pressed whether she felt she would be sitting in the lead, Kyriacou admitted to a level of surprise at seeing her name on top of the leaderboard.
“I didn’t think I would be near the lead. I thought a heap of the other girls would be posting good scores too.”
Kyriacou has an air of confidence around her golf right now and said the key was the work she had done on her short game, in particular, her putting.
“I have been working on my putting, and I really feel so confident. It feels a lot like last year, so hopefully, I can repeat what happened then.”
Asked about why she liked the course so much Kyriacou explained she found the greens at Victoria suited her eye.
“I am so confident with my lines; it’s just a matter of me putting a good stroke on it.”
Armed with the experience of last year’s win Kyriacou agreed she was in a good spot to be in with just two rounds to play.
“If I do what I did today, I’ll be fine. I might get the job done,” she smiled.
138: Stephanie Kyriacou, Lion Higo, Min A Yoon.
139: An Ho Yu
140: Ida Ayu Indra Melati
142: Alyaa Abdulghany
144: Kirsten Rudgeley, Cassie Porter
Nathan Barbieri is the best of the NSW and ACT contingent, in the Men’s Division, sitting in 11th place after the second round.
The Monash Country Club representative added an even-par 72 to his opening 69.
St. Micahel’s Harrison Crowe, making his debut in the tournament, jumped 22 places with a three-under 69 in the morning draw, while Canberra’s Harry Bolton added an even-par 72 to remain in red figures for the championship at one under.
Josh Armstrong also made a move, jumping 22 places to sit in a tie for 25th place after carding a two-under-par 70.
With just 45 plus ties making the final round cut, the rest of the contingent has some work to do. Lucas Higgins is on the bubble in 41st place, while Jordan Ayre (52nd), Corey Lamb (56th) and Jordie Garner (66th) will need to fire in tomorrow’s third round.
134: Sahith THeegala
136: Jang Hyun Lee
137: Jack Buchanan
138: Philipp Katich
139: Jared Edwards, Benjamin Jones, Quade Cummins