Kyriacou, Yu win Australian Master of the Amateurs
The 2019 Australian Master of the Amateurs has produced another classic finish with Stephanie Kyriacou nailing a birdie on the final hole to secure a three stroke win over Victorian Julienne Soo, with the men’s championship needing three extra holes before Chun-An Yu from Chinese Taipei overcame Japan’s Keita Nakajima.
Kyriacou fired rounds of 70-75-75-70 to finish at 2-over-par and played stellar final day golf to record the day’s low round of 2-under after going out in 36 and storming home in 34. It was a solid finish for Kyriacou to secure her first main amateur title in Australia and is sure to be attracting the interests of the national selectors.
“I’m pleased with the way I was able to finish, especially after my third round,” said Kyriacou.
“I did not close out my third round well and dropped a few coming in. Today, I finished strongly and it’s an amazing feeling to win a tournament like this at Royal Melbourne.”
Stephanie Kyriacou and Chun-An Yu (Credit: Anthony Powter)
Grace Kim finished at 6-over for outright third position with Becky Kay, who held the lead for the first two rounds, a shot behind at 7-over and in 4th position. Maddie Hinson-Tolchard rounded out the top-5, finishing at 8-over-par.
In the men’s championship overnight leader Nakajima was out of the blocks early playing solid and steady golf all the way until the 72nd hole.
Nakajima reached the tough par 4 18th on the West Course in regulation with a stroke lead, but his approach shot finished well above the hole needing him to lag a 15 metre put for a par and victory. Instead, Nakajima rolled his putt 2 metres past the pin and then missed the putt on the return for a bogey.
Earlier, Yu had fired an impressive 67 to be sitting in the Clubhouse at 6-under-par. It was a devastating blow for Nakajima who had held the lead since the opening day only to see it slip by with poor putting on the final hole.
Three additional holes were needed to determine the outcome with Nakajima also narrowly missing a 2 metre putt for victory on the second play-off. Then Yu fired in arguably one of his finest 7 irons, stiffing the ball to within one metre of the pin and setting up victory with a birdie.
“Tough as, that’s the best way I would describe it,” said Yu.
“I played well to get into the playoff and was a little fortunate with him three putting the last, but my shot on the third playoff hole was near perfect. I’m very satisfied with the outcome and the win.”
Blake Windred moved three places with his final round of 2-under 70, to finish at 5-under-par for the tournament and in outright third position.
Aussie Andre Lautee and American Matthew Wolff rounded out the top-5 at 3-under. Wolff was spectacular during his brief stint in Australia and is a player to follow in the future with his unusual swing like action, yet his sheer power and steely resolve will undoubtedly see him PGA Tour bound.
This was another classic championship that rightfully sits as Australia’s top R&A ranked men’s and women’s tournament.
Next year will see the tournament moving to the Victoria Golf Club for three years, having been held at Royal Melbourne for the last nine years.