In the final part of our series reflecting on last season, we take a look at some of the players who put themselves forward as rising stars of the future.
Last season was definitely a standout for Australia’s Stephanie Kyriacou, who claimed her breakthrough victory while still an amateur at the Geoff King Motors Australian Ladies Classic. After that victory, Kyriacou decided to turn professional and become a member of the Ladies European Tour and she took part in the rest of her rookie season. Despite any points accrued at Bonville not counting towards the ‘LET Rookie of the Year’ title race, the Australian put in a series of stellar performances.
She claimed two runner-up finishes, as well as a further three top five results and went on to the clinch the prestigious ‘LET Rookie of the Year’ crown, beating England’s Alice Hewson by 92 points. She became the third Australian golfer to win the title following in the footsteps of Rebecca Stevenson (2003) and Nikki Garrett (2006). With such a successful start to her professional career, Kyriacou will be hoping her form continues into 2021.
Next up on the list is last year’s runner-up in the ‘LET Rookie of the Year’, England’s Alice Hewson who finished 92 points behind Kyriacou. After turning pro in September 2019, Hewson finished fifth at LET Q-School at La Manga Club and went on to have a dream start to her LET career. The English golfer clinched a brilliant win in her first event – the Investec South African Women’s Open.
After competing in her first Major as a professional at the AIG Women’s Open, Hewson also recorded a top-20 finish at the Andalucía Open de España. As well as finishing second in the ‘LET Rookie of the Year’ standings, she also ended in 11th place on the Race to Costa del Sol. With a stellar start to her LET career, Hewson will be looking to pick up where she left off last season.
The youngest member of the LET is Slovenia’s Pia Babnik, who finished 11th in the Final Stage of Qualifying School aged 16 and turned professional soon after. She made her debut in Australia and finished 17th at the Bonville Ladies Classic and followed that up with impressive top-ten finishes at the Women’s NSW Open and TIPSPORT Czech Ladies Open.
Babnik, who was part of Team Europe at the 2019 PING Junior Solheim Cup, recorded her best finish of the year at The Saudi Ladies Team International alongside Kyriacou and Manon Gidali. In the ‘LET Rookie of the Year’ standings, the Slovenian golfer finished fourth and about to enter her second year as a professional on the LET and still just 17-years-old, there are big things to look forward to.