Australian teen golf star Stephanie Kyriacou has turned professional ahead of the Women's NSW Open in Dubbo this week.
The 19-year-old Sydneysider has decided to make the move to the pro ranks ahead of schedule after her stunning Australian Ladies Classic triumph.
Kyriacou, who was unable to collect the $59,000 prize money on offer at Bonville due to her amateur status, earned a two-year exemption on the Ladies European Tour by winning the tournament last week.
"I'm so happy to announce that I'm turning professional," Kyriacou told the LET.
"I'll be playing my first event as a pro this week in Dubbo, so it's very exciting.
"It's been very, very crazy. I've had so many messages and missed phone calls. I've had emails from I don't even know whom. I've had all these big decisions to make and everything has happened so quickly.
"It wasn't a hard decision to make. I did weigh up all the options but I was hoping to turn pro at the end of the year anyway …” – Stephanie Kyriacou
"It wasn't a hard decision to make. I did weigh up all the options but I was hoping to turn pro at the end of the year anyway and this has opened up a few more doors and moved the goal post a bit.
"I'm excited about getting a start in the Evian Championship, which is a major. That will be huge."
Kyriacou won the Classic by eight shots from South Korean Ayean Cho, with rounds of 69, 63, 69 and 65 for a 22-under total.
The teenager, who is the reigning Queensland women's amateur champion, has since climbed 547 places in the world rankings to No.287.
She will tee off from the 10th on Thursday morning alongside fellow Aussie Sarah Kemp and defending champion Meghan MacLaren, who is aiming to win the event for the third year in a row.
- David Smith, Australian Associated Press