Grace Kim gets her moment to shine on the biggest stage in Women’s Golf tonight when she makes her Major Championship debut in the 2022 US Women’s Open at Pine Needles Lodge in North Carolina.
Kim tees off in her opening round at 7.37 am local time (9.37 pm AEST tonight) alongside a pair of impressive amateurs in Minsol Kim of Korea and the United States’ Catherine Park.
The 21-year-old Avondale star said her experience this week had been a dream come true, but it had also solidified her desire to force her way onto the LPGA at the end of the year.
“I’m very, very excited. This is where I want to be; being treated like a princess queen this week has been amazing.
“You have to work hard for what you want, and this is a really good motivator for me to go back out and grind on the Epson Tour to make sure I get that card.”
Kim is leaving nothing to chance this week, enlisting a couple of capable hands for the championship. The pair’s presence could prove pivotal on a course that is like little else she has ever seen.
“I’ve got Benji Brewer (Kim’s friend Steph Kyriacou’s caddie) on the bag this week, and my coach, Khan (Pullen) is here, too.
“This (Pine Needles) is a lot like Pinehurst, but it isn’t really like anything I’ve played back in Australia.
With the course playing at 6700 yards (6100m metres), Kim said working on accepting the inevitable bad break would be the key to a good performance.
“We’ve been working on different types of shots, especially around the greens because they are getting quite firm, and a lot of good shots could well turn out not as good as you would want them to.”
“You need a steady mental game here, and just be accepting of whatever happens. Make sure you two-putt and don’t put a big number on the card.”
Four other Australians are in the field this week, including Kim’s fellow New South Welshman, Sarah Kemp, Hannah Green, Minjee Lee and Gabriela Ruffels.
Kemp will begin her US Women’s Open Campaign at 7.22am local time , while Mine Lee will get underway at 8.28am.
West Aussie Hannah Green will play alongside the USA’s Jessica Korda and Kiwi Lydia Ko at 9.05am, while Gabriella Ruffels will tee off at 12.56pm in the afternoon half of the draw.