Despite emergency wrist surgery in early January, Avondale’s Chris fan has bounced back in his first competitive round since, carding a remarkable seven-under-par 63 to vault into second place at the Queanbeyan Open.
- 2.30PM: Steph shines with opening 66
- 1.30pm: Digger cards course record, leads by three
- 11.15am: Barbieri going low, leads by one
- 7.30am: Edge gets open underway
Fan underwent the procedure after slicing his left wrist and hand open while changing a grip.
” I was doing a re-grip and tore through a nerve and artery in my left hand.
Fan said the trauma of waiting to see a surgeon while in casualty certainly played on his mind with the injury as severe as it was.
“The period in Emergency, waiting to see the surgeon, the anxiety really kicks in.
“Thankfully, the surgeon said I was the luckiest man alive to not hit the tendon,” he said.
With stitches and his hand in a cast for two and a half weeks post-operation, Fan couldn’t pick a club up – let alone compete – until about a week ago. Naturally, he wasn’t expecting too much in today’s opening round.
“I was a little bit shaky the first time back, but once I got into the groove of things, everything seemed to fly my way.”
And flow it did. Despite book-ending his round with bogeys, the 20-year-old was peerless throughout, rattling off seven birdies in 16 holes.
Fan said he picked up the pace of the greens early and was seeing the lines of his putts well.
“I did have a good feel for line and pace, and I was able to take advantage.”
“This isn’t the style of golf course I am used to, so it’s something I have to learn to adapt to in order to play well.”
“I had a few lucky breaks out there.”
Although a tee time in tomorrow’s final group is looking likely, Fan, who is studying Applied Finance and Accounting at Macquarie University, has some experience in closing out events, with two world Amateur Golf Ranking events already to his name.
“I won the Port Phillip Amateur (over 72 holes) in 2019, and won last years Concord Cup as well.”
2.30PM: Steph shines with opening 66
It might have been a case of ‘what could’ve beens’ for Steph Kyriacou in the opening round of the Queanbeyan Open, but the effort was still one of the day’s shining lights in plenty of ways.
Playing her first competitive round for 2021, Kyriacou, the LET rookie of the year, has carded a four-under 66 to sit in 6th place alongside some of the best players in Australian men’s golf.
“I messed up the last,” she lamented. ” I three-putted. It was pretty awful, but I still played good the rest of the day.”
Kyriacou’s round included seven birdies and three bogeys and showed to many she is more than capable of matching it with the men.
” I put one in the bush on the 4th and made a bogey. From there, I really didn’t make a mistake up until the last.
“It was pretty solid, but nothing extraordinary. I just putted good.”
Not only did the 20-year-old hold her own, carding a solid score in red figures, but she did it playing from the men’s championship tees and alongside some illustrious company; PGA Tour winner Andre Stolz and European tour winner & 2016 Olympian, Marcus Fraser.
“I’ve been playing off the back tees at St. Mick’s, but this was the first time in an actual competition.
“They were good guys, and they were petty nice,” she added.
Despite the disappointing finish, Kyriacou still managed to post a number that plenty of the more credentialed male athletes in the field would have been happy to have.
It’s 12 months to the day since Kyriacou leapt into the pro ranks following her memorable eight-shot win in the co-sanctioned Australian Ladies Classic – Bonville, a victory that changed her life dramatically.
The win also forced a re-think of her goals for the remained of 2020. After returning home in December with a swag of top-five finishes on the LET under her belt plus the Rookie of the Year honour, it’s fair to say she met them.
This week, however, Kyriacou’s goal is to grab a spot in the field for the NSW Open at Concord.
“That’ s the goal. It’s why I have come down to play here,’ she smiled.
1.30pm: Digger cards course record, leads by three
Deyen Lawson has carded a course record 61 on the opening morning of the Queanbeyan Open.
The Queensland-based Victorian charged around the Queanbeyan Golf Club layout, carding nine birdies and not a single bogey in a faultless display.
Lawson nailed four straight birdies from the 2nd to the 5th to set the tone for his stellar round. another brace on the 11th, 12th and 13th got him to seven and in a battle with early co-leader Barbieri.
Lawson got it to 8 under with another birdie on the 16th, before sealing his second course record of the Regional Open Series, after his opening round effort at Coffs Harbour, with his ninth for the day on the last.
“Iwas very happy with my start, I played pretty solid today.
“I’ve been working hard on my game and just trying to stay really patient.
“Obviously it’s a lot easier to stay patient when you are playing solid,” Lawson smiled.
Surprisingly, Lawson was unaware he was flirting with the magical 59 number until his last few holes.
“I only realised with three holes to play I could’ve broken 60. I had a couple of good rolls at it, but I’m still very happy with the start.”
Lawson said the condition of the course was first class.
“The greens have a bit of bounce in them, a couple of shots I hit into them took a bit of a hop then stopped, but they are rolling really good.
“They aren’t really big, so nine times out of ten if you do have a putt, you are always a chance to hole it.”
The Queanbeyan Open is Lawson’s the second tournament Lawson has played in the six event series, and it’s a format he is thoroughly enjoying.
“The sponsors day works really well leading in. you get a look at the course, and you are playing with some of the best players in Australia. The competition is tough.”
11.15am: Barbieri going low, leads by one
Nathan Barbieri holds a one shot lead over Deyen Lawson mid way through the morning on day one of the Queanbeyan Open.
Barbieri was on fire on the front nine, bagging four birdies and an eagle to turn in just 30 strokes. he doubled down with another birdie to open his back nine, and is currently at six under.
Lawson, who began his round from the ninth hole has also kept a clean slate, with five birdies on the back nine to turn in 30.
Playing the modified length course, Grace Kim is at four under and outright third.
There are six players tied at for 4th at four under, however, the standout amongst this group is undoubtedly Steph Kyriacou, the reigning Australian Ladies Classic Champion, who has decided to play the full length men’s course in pursuit of a NSW Open Start.
Kyriacou, the Ladies European Tour (LET) Rookie of the Year in 2020 turned for home two under, but has already added birdies on 10 and 12 to get to four under.
7.30am: Edge gets open underway
t’s a perfect day for golf, and Queanbeyan Golf Club is in pristine condition for the opening round of the Queanbeyan Open today.
New South Wales Based pro Alex Edge has hit the first shot playing alongside Forbes James Grierson and Newcastle Amateur Jye Pickin.
It’s a brisk morning and there is a tinge of autumn about. The mercury is hovering around 7 degrees, but hit should climb into the twenties by the early afternoon.
There’s plenty of big names here for the Open, and lots of local interest too. Matt Millar, Josh Armstrong andQueanbeyan’s head professional Jake Nagle are one fo the marquee of groups of the day, and will hit off at 8.10am.
Following the local start is the trio of Marcus Fraser, Andre Stolz, and the Ladies European Tour rookie of the year, Stephanie Kyriacou.
Stay tuned and follow our blog here as the Quenabeyan Open unfolds.