Green and Lee head Aussies' major charge

Reigning US PGA champion Hannah Green and world No.8 Minjee Lee headline a nine-strong Australian challenge at the women's British Open golf championship.

HANNAH GREEN of Australia.
HANNAH GREEN of Australia. Picture: Kelly Defina/Getty Images

Patience will be paramount as Minjee Lee and Hannah Green spearhead an impressive nine-strong Australian contingent at the first women's golf major of 2020 starting on Thursday.

High winds and potential thunderstorms are forecast for the duration of the British Open at Royal Troon in Scotland, where Green will be hunting a second career major to follow up her stunning 2019 US PGA Championship win in Minnesota.

Green capped her breakout season with a second US LPGA Tour victory last September but only emerged from four months of COVID-19 hibernation at home in Perth for last week's Scottish Open.

Green and fellow WA star Lee finished tied 16th at even par, five shots behind American winner Stacey Lewis, in treacherous conditions at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick.

The 23-year-old is bracing herself for another challenging week as the world's biggest names chase elusive major silverware at the same venue where Henrik Stenson famously out-duelled Phil Mickelson at the men's Open championship in 2016.

"It's going to be very tough in the wind. I've just got to be really patient and enjoy myself while I'm out there," Green said.

"Hopefully I can get off to a good start because it is going to be tough.

"I'm hoping I can have some good consistent rounds and just keep in it."

While the 20th-ranked Green and world No.8 Lee represent Australia's best chances in Scotland, seven others also hope to contend on Sunday.

Gabriella Ruffels is fresh of a second consecutive appearance in the US Amateur Championship final, while fellow young gun Steph Kyriacou will be making her eagerly-awaited major debut after announcing her arrival on the international stage in spectacular fashion in February.

The teenager blew away the field to win the European Tour event by eight shots at Bonville, near Coffs Harbour.

Other Australians teeing up in Thursday's first round are Sarah Jane Smith, Sarah Kemp, Whitney Hillier, Su Oh and Katherine Kirk.

In a golf calendar that has been heavily reshaped because of the coronavirus pandemic, the British Open has managed to hold its date and will be the first of four women's majors this year.

The Evian Championship has been cancelled and will return in 2021.

There will be COVID-19 testing for players and caddies but no spectators at Troon.

AUSSIE TEE TIMES FOR FIRST ROUND OF BRITISH OPEN ON THURSDAY (AEST):

4.58pm: Minjee Lee, Azahara Munoz (ESP), Amy Yang (KOR)

5.20pm: Hannah Green, Esther Henseleit (GER), Brittany Altomare (USA)

6.20pm: Sarah Jane Smith, Cristie Kerr (USA), In Gee Chun (KOR)

6.31pm: Gabriella Ruffels, Catriona Matthew (SCO), Angela Stanford (USA)

6.53pm: Sarah Kemp, Manon De Roey (BEL), Andea Lee (USA)

7.26pm: Steph Kyriacou, Caroline Inglis (USA), Felicity Johnson (ENG)

8.32pm: Whitney Hillier, Charlotte Thompson (ENG), Maria Torres (PRI)

9.05pm: Su Oh, Morgan Pressel (USA), Carlota Ciganda (ESP)

11pm: Katherine Kirk, Jasmine Suwannapura (THA), Sandra Gal (GER)