26 Oct 2023 | Professional golf |

Aussies on Tour: Kim, Kyriacou offer Aus Open teaser in Malaysia

by Tony Webeck

Stephanie Kyriacou Grace Kim Maybank
Australian Open headliners Stephanie Kyriacou and Grace Kim will play alongside each other at the Maybank Championship in Malaysia. Photos: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images (Kyriacou), Dylan Buell/Getty Images (Kim)

Two of the headline acts for next month’s ISPS HANDA Australian Open will provide an insight into who will lead generation next at this week’s LPGA Tour Maybank Championship in Malaysia.

Close friends who won the 2019 Interstate Series as members of a dominant New South Wales team, Grace Kim and Stephanie Kyriacou have been paired with American superstar Danielle Kang for Round 1 starting at 10:41am AEDT.

On Thursday morning Kim was confirmed as a starter for the Australian Open, joining Kyriacou in seeking to make a major statement in their home city.

As Minjee Lee advances her claims to the status as the No.1 player in the world and Hannah Green continues to add to her tally of LPGA Tour wins, Kim and Kyriacou are leading the way for those ready to follow in their footsteps.

Kim’s rookie season on the LPGA Tour includes a win at the Lotte Championship while Kyriacou is a two-time winner on the Ladies European Tour who has had two top-five finishes on the LPGA Tour in 2023.

Today they get to go toe-to-toe in what Kim predicts will be something of a warm-up to their quest for the Patricia Bridges Bowl at The Australian and The Lakes golf clubs.

“I think some good competition between her and I as well as some great camaraderie,” Kim said when asked what to expect at the Australian Open.

“She’s a great player, very physically strong and mentally very strong, too.

“People should really look forward to our little battles, I guess, throughout the week.”

Currently second behind Korea’s Hae Ran Ryu in the race for the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award, Kim credits Kyriacou and her fellow Aussies for helping her to make such a seamless transition.

“It makes a huge difference,” said the 22-year-old.

“Having someone that you grew up with is one thing but also having a mate on tour that you can ask anything. They have been there and done that before you so they know what to do.

“They’re really easy to talk to and very friendly and throughout the year, if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have had that way of understanding how to do certain things.

“It makes playing practice rounds a lot more fun and having dinners here and there is a lot more enjoyable than when you don’t have anyone, for sure.”

Following her win in Korea last week wold No.4 Minjee Lee is one of 28 captains at this week’s Aramco Team Series being played at Riyadh Golf Club for the first time.

With the penultimate pick of the draft on Wednesday night, Lee selected Scotland’s Louise Duncan with France’s Nastasia Nadaud rounding out her team.

Round 1 tee times AEDT

LPGA Tour Maybank Championship Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 10:41am Danielle Kang, Grace Kim, Stephanie Kyriacou 11:03am Moriya Jutanugarn, Sarah Kemp, Megan Khang 11:47am Hannah Green, Lydia Ko (NZ), Natasha Andrea Oon

Defending champion: Inaugural event Past Aussie winners: Nil TV times: Live 1pm-6pm Thursday, Friday on Fox Sports 503; Live 4pm-5pm Saturday on Fox Sports 505; Live 5pm-6pm Saturday on Fox Sports 503; Live 2pm-3:30pm and 6pm-7pm Sunday on Fox Sports 503 and Kayo Sport.

DP World Tour Commercial Bank Qatar Masters Doha GC, Doha, Qatar 2:20pm* Aaron Rai, Thriston Lawrence, Daniel Hillier (NZ) 7:40pm* Louis De Jager, Nick Bachem, Jason Scrivener

Defending champion: Ewen Ferguson Past Aussie winners: Adam Scott (2002, 2008) TV times: Live 7pm-12am Thursday, Friday; Live 7:30pm-12am Saturday; Live 7pm-12am Sunday on Fox Sports 503 and Kayo Sport.

Ladies European Tour Aramco Team Series Presented by PIF - Riyadh Riyadh Golf Club, Saudi Arabia Australians in the field: Minjee Lee, Kirsten Rudgeley

Defending champion: Inaugural event Past Aussie winners: Nil TV times: Live 8pm-12am Friday; Live 9pm-12am Saturday; Live 10:30pm-12am Sunday on Fox Sports 507 and Kayo Sport.

Legends Tour Sergio Melpignano Senior Italian Open San Domenico Golf, Italy 6:10pm Joakim Haeggman, Michael Campbell (NZ), Ian Lawler 6:40pm* Costantino Rocca, Peter Fowler, Mark Mouland 7:50pm Mikael Lundberg, Michael Long (NZ), Mike Norris

Defending champion: Ricardo Gonzalez Past Aussie winners: Terry Gale (2004)

LET Access Series Santander Golf Tour - ZARAGOZA Real Club de Golf La Penaza, Spain 6:20pm Georgina Blackman, Kelsey Bennett, Lucie Andre 6:30pm Marit Harryvan, Kristalle Blum, Tia Teiniketo 6:50pm Pasqualle Coffa, Amy Walsh, Sarina Schmidt 10:05pm Amaia Latorre, Victoria Fricot, Kankawee Linjongsubongkot (a)

Defending champion: Camilla Hedberg Past Aussie winners: Nil

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