Dobbelaar, Kyriacou triumph

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Louis Dobbelaar and Stephanie Kyriacou with the spoils of victory.

Stephanie Kyriacou came from behind, but Louis Dobbelaar blew everyone away to grab respective women's and men's titles at the Port Phillip Open amateur championship at Kingston Heath today.

Kyriacou of Sydney, 18, loves the sandbelt conditions in Melbourne, having already won the Master of the Amateurs at Royal Melbourne this year, the biggest triumph of her short career to date.

She had five birdies and an eagle three in the par-five first hole today in Kingston Heath to darken the leaders and win the woman's title by two shots of her fellow countryman New South Wales, Grace Kim, who closed with a 68

Kyriacou started the day with a double course, second second behind New Zealand's Fiona Xu, rattled home with a 69 to reach Kim's 72-hole title with Victorian Stephanie Bunque third.

"The courses in Melbourne are so good," Kyriacou said. "I found the Commonwealth greens so challenging because they are so sturdy, but when I come here, I'm more used to it and it made me feel comfortable."

Dobbelaar, also 18, was dynamic today with a 70 in the morning and a 68 in the afternoon and reached two under par to win with five from Billy Cawthorne of Royal Adelaide with three over par.

For the Queenslander, a previous winner of the amateur titles from New Zealand and Queensland, it was a justification for hard work in a difficult year. The Brookwater Golf Club product underwent arthoscopic surgery on his right elbow early this year and it took him most of 2019 to restore his confidence.

"The last 12 months have been tough," he said. "I was about half a year off." It has been a long way. The first few months were very difficult and I tried to catch up. "

Dobbelaar made an early double bogey this afternoon on the par-three 15th from behind the green, but from that moment on he was white hot. "I was shaky early on, but I was seven years old when I was 16, so after that I played really well," he said. "It's great. It's so different from home, but it's a treat, because the photos you take are what you get. It's a real test here."

As for Kyriacou, she is thinking about her future, including an American university career or possibly becoming a professional. "I'm not so sure yet," she said. "I decide on school. It depends on how I play in the coming months. Probably it could (become) the year after that."

The 32 best men in Port Phillip of the men and the 16 best women qualified for the Victorian Amateur championship from Monday at Kingston Heath. Dobbelaar and Kyriacou become the best seeds.

Final scores, information

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