Stephanie Kyriacou will arrive at the LPGA Tour’s Q-Series with a bolstered bank balance after ending the Ladies European Tour season third on the Order of Merit.
Fourth in the Race to Costa del Sol standings heading into the Andalucia Costa Del Sol Open De Espana season finale, Kyriacou closed with a round of three-under par 69 that had periods of wild fluctuations.
The recently turned 21-year-old burst out of the blocks with three straight birdies to start her final round before dropping a shot at the par-3 fourth.
Further birdies followed at six and eight yet a double-bogey at the par-4 ninth sent Kyriacou into the back nine two-under on her round.
The final nine holes of the season was more subdued with a lone birdie at the par-4 13th enough to elevate Kyriacou into a share of fifth, 10 shots behind runaway winner Carlota Ciganda.
Her eighth top 10 of the year moved her ahead of Finland’s Sanna Nuutinen by just 107.97 points and triggered a €50,000 ($A79,459) share of the bonus pool awarded to the top three finishers on the Order of Merit.
The top-five on the Order of Merit also receive exemption into the LPGA Tour’s Q-Series starting in Alabama next week, opening the door for Kyriacou to potentially play both tours in 2022.
“I’m happy I played well and got third, also happy I have the opportunity to go to the States and try to get on the LPGA Tour,” said Kyriacou, who has played 22 events on the Ladies European Tour this year.
“It is going to be a quick turnaround with getting over the jet-lag, but the important thing is I have the opportunity.
“If I got status on both tours, I would probably do a bit of both – it depends on which tournaments clash with what. We will figure that out when the time comes.”
Although a Sunday 76 was not how she would have liked to have signed off it also marked the end of Whitney Hillier’s most consistent season, the West Australian finishing tied for 23rd in Spain to end the year 45th on the Order of Merit.
Scott Hend’s quest for an 11th Asian Tour title went deep into Sunday but came unstuck with a wayward 5-wood at the par-5 15th at the Blue Canyon Phuket Championship in Thailand.
Going for the green in two, Hend’s approach went right and couldn’t be found, the Queenslander unable to save par despite finding the green with his second attempt.
A closing 67 earned Hend a share of fourth just two shots behind the victor from Chinese Taipei, Chan Shih-chang, fellow Australian Travis Smyth marking his return to the Asian Tour with his second 65 of the week and a top-10 finish as Sam Brazel (67) finished 20th in his first international event since December 2019.
Dylan Perry was the best of the Aussies in the penultimate event of the Japan Golf Tour season, finishing tied for 22nd at the Casio World Open to move to 66th on the moneylist, one spot ahead of Anthony Quayle who was the only other Aussie to make the cut.
Ladies European Tour
Andalucia Costa Del Sol Open De Espana
Los Naranjos Golf Club, Marbella, Spain
Winner Carlota Ciganda 70-66-70-67—273 €90,000
T5 Stephanie Kyriacou 74-69-71-69—283 €20,100
T23 Whitney Hillier 72-70-71-76—289 €7,452
Blue Canyon Phuket Championship
Blue Canyon CC (Canyon Course), Phuket, Thailand
Winner Chan Shih-chang 66-68-68-68—270 $US180,000
T4 Scott Hend 69-71-65-67—272 $38,200
T10 Travis Smyth 73-65-72-65—275 $16,480
20 Sam Brazel 72-70-68-67—277 $11,550
T23 Wade Ormsby 69-69-71-70—279 $10,000
T63 Jake Higginbottom 76-67-72-74—289 $2,850
MC Andrew Martin 73-71—144
MC Ben Campbell 72-74—146
MC Will Heffernan 74-72—146
MC Josh Younger 74-73—147
MC Kevin Yuan 75-73—148
MC Ben Eccles 75-76—151
MC Cory Crawford 76-75—151
MC David Gleeson 91-90—181
Japan Golf Tour
Casio World Open
Kochi Kuroshio Country Club, Kochi
Winner Mikumu Horikawa 64-65-73-67—269 ¥30m
T22 Dylan Perry 73-66-70-70—279 ¥1,590,000
T63 Anthony Quayle 69-70-75-72—286 ¥334,500
MC David Bransdon 69-76—145