A mentally stronger Steph Kyriacou will call on the comforts of home to push for major-championship glory at the AIG Women’s Open, which begins today at Walton Heath Golf Club in England.

Laid out across largely flat heathland with bunkering and heather framing each hole in the golf-rich county of Surrey, Walton Heath presents a different challenge to 12 months ago when South African Ashleigh Buhai triumphed at Muirfield Golf Club.

Kyriacou was five strokes behind in a tie for seventh at Muirfield, still her best result in a major to date.

The 22-year-old believes she is in a better place a year on to improve on that again and potentially contend for a maiden major title.

At the heart of that belief is her home club in Sydney, St Michael’s Golf Club, and the exposure that has given her to playing in conditions familiar to what she will experience at Walton Heath.

“I really like coming back to the UK and playing golf here,” Kyriacou said.

“I like playing in the wind and all of this heathland-style course as it reminds me of home and where I grew up. I guess it’s like a home away from home.”

In her second season on the LPGA Tour, Kyriacou has begun to display the type of form that has made her a two-time winner on the Ladies European Tour.

An aggressive mindset made her a standout performer for Australia at the International Crown in San Francisco, a mindset she has since carried through to five top-16 finishes in her past seven starts, her best a tie for fourth after playing her way into the final group at the Dana Open.

Now ranked 93rd in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Ranking, Kyriacou is finding a groove that will free her up to play her best in the biggest tournaments.

“This year, I feel like I’m in a better place mentally with my golf,” Kyriacou revealed. “I’m looking forward to this week to see what will happen.”

Kyriacou will be the first Aussie to tee off at 4:14 this afternoon, paired with Marina Alex and Akie Iwai.

Two-time major winner Minjee Lee will play with Nasa Hataoka and Danielle Kang from 4:58pm while qualifier Kelsey Bennett is in the final group of the day, teeing off in her major championship debut at 12:28am, AEST.

Round 1 tee-times, AEST

AIG Women’s Open
Walton Heath Golf Club, Surrey, England
4:14pm                Akie Iwai, Marina Alex, Steph Kyriacou
4:58pm               Minjee Lee, Nasa Hataoka, Danielle Kang
5:20pm                Nelly Korda, Lydia Ko (NZ), Charley Hull
8:10pm                Meghan MacLaren, Sarah Kemp, Kylie Henry
8:54pm                Eun Hee Ji, Grace Kim, Stephanie Meadow
10pm                    Allisen Corpuz, Hyo Joo Kim, Hannah Green
12:28am              Johanna Gustavsson, Chloe Williams, Kelsey Bennett