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There’s nothing like confidence when any athlete walks on to a familiar arena.
And so it was with Steph Kyriacou and Doey Choi today as they put Australia in a prominent position early in the Queen Sirikit Cup in Adelaide.
The Sydney pair were part of the dominant New South Wales state team that won last year’s Interstate Series at Glenelg and dialed up those good memories today to put Australia into a share of second after day one.
Reigning champion Korea, albeit with a totally new team, is five shots clear of the Aussies, who share second with New Zealand and pre-tournament fancy Japan at two over in total.
The best two of the three individual scores recorded by each country count, meaning Kyriacou’s even-par 73 and Choi’s 75 gave the hosts the luxury of dropping teammate Julienne Soo’s 79.
And on a day of high winds and intermittent driving rain, it was a pleasing finish for the Aussies, the only team in the past 12 editions of the Asia-Pacific teams championship other than Korea to have lifted the Queen Sirikit Cup (2013).
“It’s a really big advantage for Steph and I, having a win here last year,” Choi said of her affinity with the South Australian layout.
“But it’s a different event and it plays harder in this weather, but it’s still an edge.”
Kyriacou, winner of this year’s Australian Master of the Amateurs, was the star of the show with an eagle on the par-five sixth the highlight of the emerging St Michaels member’s round.
“I made a great eagle there – I hit a really nice hybrid in and boxed about a 25-footer to get the momentum going,” Kyriacou beamed.
“It was tough out there with the wind and the rain came in and out which made it interesting.
“But we’re in reasonable spot … and it feels good, but it’s early days.”
Soo had been even par after a quality birdie on the 10th, but gave that shot back on the 11th and then endured five successive bogeys from the 14th to close.
“I’m just glad I’ve got a couple of good partners today. Hopefully I’ll be in a position to pay that back tomorrow,” the Victorian said.