'Sky's the limit' for Aust teen star: Webb

Seven-time major winner Karrie Webb believes teen star and fellow Australian, Stephanie Kyriacou, will thrive on the Ladies European Tour.

27-Feb-2020 By Evin Priest, Australian Associated Press
  • Gol_Women_Webb_16-9_18230575_1997417_20200227080240dad47527-a68e-40c9-89dc-4d5d78f9f9ae.jpg_sd_1280x720.jpg

Golf great Karrie Webb has backed teen star Stephanie Kyriacou to hit the ground running as a newly-minted professional, having watched her landslide win on the Ladies European Tour.

Kyriacou, 19, cruised to an eight-shot win at the Australian Ladies Classic at Coffs Harbour's Bonville resort last week while still an amateur.

She turned professional on Wednesday in order to take up a two-year exemption on the Ladies European Tour, which includes major championship starts at the Evian Championship in France and the Women's British Open.

Kyriacou makes her professional debut at the NSW Open starting today in Dubbo, another LET-sanctioned event with a prize pool of more than $A400,000.

Webb, a seven-time major champion and World Golf Hall of Fame member, said Kyriacou's obliteration of the Bonville Classic field was impressive.

"Steph looked like she was playing a different course to everyone else; it seemed the hole was a big as a bucket," Webb told AAP on Thursday.

Webb, 45, said the freedom of a two-year exemption would help Kyriacou make the leap to the paid ranks.

Webb enjoyed a similar comfort when she won on the same tour in her rookie season in 1994.

"Steph doesn't have to play for her card and has two years to get comfortable playing professional golf," Queenslander Webb said.

"I had a bit of success early in my career and it just made me feel comfortable competing at that level.

"Steph's win will be a huge boost of confidence; the sky is the limit for her."

Kyriacou's win adds to a list of triumphs by Australian women golfers recently.

Perth native Hannah Green secured a maiden major title at last year's US Women's PGA Championship before winning again on the LPGA Tour.

Months later, Gabi Ruffels became the first Australian to win the US Women's Amateur.

"It's fantastic to see and I think it shows that if you put money somewhere, you'll see results," Webb explained.

"(Government funding) was lacking for a long time but some attention has been put into growing the women's game from the grass roots. Still, women's golf needs more."

Webb also launched the Karrie Webb Series scholarship several years ago for Australian amateurs.

It offers financial support while taking recipients to LPGA Tour events, often majors, to learn from Webb.

Green and women's world No.8 Minjee Lee are past winners of the scholarship.

"I'm not someone who pushes themselves on players, but I love helping young girls coming through," Webb said.

"I have a lot to offer and the girls know whenever they need help, they can reach out and I'll be there."

Kyriacou will play the NSW Women's Open with fellow Australian Sarah Kemp and defending champion Meghan MacLaren.


Add a comment

Title Notify Website Updates

Subscribe to receive updates and new posts via email