The Aussie contingent on the LPGA Tour has increased by three ahead of next season, with Steph Kyriacou, Sarah Jane Smith and Karis Davidson all securing playing rights at the circuit’s Q-School.
Played over eight rounds and two courses in Alabama, the event awards Tour cards of varying status to the top 45 players, Korea’s Na Rin An taking top spot with an total of 33-under.
Having played well in the first week of the marathon of high pressure golf, Kyriacou finished at 11-under following a final round one-under-par 71. Her share of 16th comfortably earning her playing privileges for 2022 following another good year on the Ladies European Tour where she won for a second time.
The Sydneysider admitting her hectic travel schedule meant she was running low on energy at the conclusion of this week.
“I feel quite good. I mean, coming into last week I played an event the week before so I was worried about the jet lag and all that, and then I had a really good first week which kind of took a little bit of pressure off,” Kyriacou said.
“But, I mean, I didn't play that good this week but managed to smack it around, and, yeah, get some scores that will keep me up there. So, yeah, it's pretty exciting.”
Whereas the 21-year-old Kyriacou had a fairly stress free Sunday, Davidson and Smith both had a final day that would have had their hearts pumping and nerves jangling with the pair finishing at four-under and with the final two cards distributed.
Smith made three late bogeys at Magnolia Grove over the closing nine holes to record a final round of 76, while Davidson turned in 41 following four bogeys in her first five holes. The 23-year-old Queenslander managing an even par back nine for a five-over round of 77.
Davidson has previously plied her trade on the Japanese LPGA Tour and will now get the chance to regularly play in America where Smith has been a mainstay on the LPGA for a number of years having first earned her card at the Q Series in 2005.
But it is Kyriacou many have been watching closely after she burst onto the pro scene with a LET win at the Ladies Australian Classic Bonville in early 2020 when still an amateur.
Finishing third on the LET Order of merit this year, Kyriacou’s success this week was alluded to by Karrie Webb when identifying her as a player to watch at the WPGA Championship at Royal Queensland in January.
“I think Steph Kyriacou has really made a name for herself over on the LET,” Webb told Golf Australia magazine. “It would be great to see her get an LPGA card and continue to grow, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her up there playing well in this event in January. She is definitely someone to look out for.”
Kyriacou will now return home to Sydney and surely reflect on realising a childhood dream.
“I mean, you dream about it when you're a kid,” Kyriacou said. “So to actually be playing on LPGA next year will be fun.”