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Aussies eye glory at women's golf's richest event ever

Young guns Gabi Ruffels and Steph Kyriacou are relishing the brutal challenge as they bid to upstage golf's superstars at the $18 million Women's US Open in Pennsylvania.

American world No.1 Nelly Korda will be chasing a remarkable seventh LPGA Tour victory of the year while top-10 major winners Hannah Green and Minjee Lee are spearheading Australia's six-strong assault at Lancaster Country Club.

But in-form Ruffels and Kyriacou are plotting major glory of their own - and the $US2 million ($A3 million) winner's cheque - at the richest tournament in women's golf history starting on Thursday.

"This is like our biggest tournament. If you look back like 10 years, this what I was trying to plan, events like this. So in that sense, it's pretty cool to be able to play in my first US Open," Kyriacou said on a Zoom call from the US on Wednesday.

"It's definitely harder than the other major, the way they set up the course and stuff.

"But it's just another tournament. It's another major."

Boasting two top-10s at the majors already and having been the leading Australian at last month's Chevron Championship, the first major of the year where Green and Lee missed the cut, Kyriacou feels ready to win.

"I see the girls every week now, so you get used to like being around all the big dogs," the 24-year-old said.

"You become mates with them and then you see they're just like other people who are just playing golf.

"That's the mindset I have now."

Steph Kyriacou.
Steph Kyriacou hits out of a trap during the Founders Cup. (AP PHOTO)

Kyriacou hopes her supreme driving game will give her an edge this week.

"That's where I might get a few shots," she said.

"Off the tee here is really important because the course is so long and the rough so thick.

"Having the advantage of being in the fairway is huge here, and I'm pretty good off the tee."

With three top-three finishes in her maiden season, including her past two starts, Ruffels is the LPGA Tour rookie-of-the-year leader.

The 23-year-old is also hoping to excel in the gruelling conditions, having worked hard to add length and a draw to her equally exquisite driving game.

"I do like the bigger stage, but it's also the tougher conditions as well," Ruffels told AAP.

"It's not super low scoring and I feel like it rewards good ball strikers and that's definitely been one of my strengths throughout the years.

"In years past, I've just kind of played and haven't really worked so much on the technical side of my game but now I'm kind of starting to understand that realm a little bit more.

"I just enjoy the challenge and I enjoy the mental challenge of it too. You just have to really stay patient out there because it's a grind, it's not easy.

"I just enjoy keeping myself in it and just trying to grind it out."

A top-15 finisher in her first three major appearances in 2020, the year after becoming Australia's first-ever US Amateur Championship winner, Ruffels is playing the US for a fourth time after sharing 13th on debut.

Green is among the favourites after climbing to world No.5 following two wins this year and a last-start second behind Korda at the Americas Open in New Jersey.

Lee, the 2022 US Open champion, has been paired with retiring US star Lexi Thompson and American prodigy Rose Zhang for the opening two rounds.

Monday call-up Sarah Kemp and 20-year-old qualifier and US college star Keeley Marx round out the six-strong Australian contingent.