Another Woods Headed to Fame?
Searching the family trees of professional touring golfers for established or up and coming relatives would be an interesting project, and why not? To find thriving professionals in other sports and, in fact, professions across the board is not uncommon, from Muhammad Ali’s world champion daughter to musicians and scientists by the droves. For some, it’s a source of great frustration to climb out from the shadows of a prominent relative, and for others, it’s a very cool ride. Where golf is concerned, a name from the A-list is about to debut. A Woods, a certain Cheyenne Woods, will play in the U.S. Women’s Open July 5 at Blackwolf Run – Kohler, Wisconsin, the second major of the LPGA season.
Take a look at this photograph. See the resemblance? I’m talking about that stare of concentration we’ve seen a thousand times on the PGA. After what has to be described as a very successful high school and college career, Cheyenne Nicole Woods is ready to make her entrance into the LPGA season, and she seems more than comfortable with the idea. After a 2 over qualifying round at Carolina Trace, she has earned a spot in the Open. Her one other pro experience at Wegmans LPGA in Rochester came about by a sponsor’s exemption. Now, Miss Woods, niece of Tiger Woods, and daughter of half-brother Earl Woods Jr., is here on the real deal.
Cheyenne finds the high profile of her uncle to be inspirational, and has grown up with all the hoopla. Cheyenne seems to have found a way to enjoy that without becoming entangled in it, being fully intent on carving out a name of her own while enjoying the presence of a historical great within her family. As for Tiger, he keeps up with the news and has already had some proud moments, despite the fact that they don’t speak often.
Born in 1990, Cheyenne Woods made the most of her school years. Beginning in the Xavier College Preparatory High School in Phoenix, Arizona, she was a four-time letterman and a three-time Most Valuable Player. She was named Arizona Player of the Year in ’07 by one prestigious source, was twice the regional champion and the Arizona State Champion for ’06 and ’07. She moved on to join the Wake Forest University for four years, where she became an All-American with the lowest scoring average of any player in the school’s history. What triggered her uncle Tiger’s delight was not merely that she won the ACC Championship, but that she won it by seven shots going away. One can understand why that would satisfy in this family tree. It’s such a Tigerish thing to do. By the time Cheyenne graduated and made ready to go for the LPGA, she had thirty amateur titles behind her, a pretty convincing resume.
From reading her interviews, one gets the sense that although she shares that blazing concentration on the course with her uncle, she’s a pretty easy-going kid off the links. Cheyenne is beginning to see the world, and enjoys it appropriately. New courses and new countries to which new tournaments take her are part of the fun, and she never seems to be tied up in knots about anything. Her favorite golfer is Lorena Ochoa, she’s a huge basketball fan (LeBron James devotee) and cites Charles Barkley as the best golfer she’s ever played with. Her favorite cereal is Cap’n Crunch. Maybe she could share some of that light-heartedness with Uncle Tiger. Can you imagine the winner of fourteen PGA majors talking about the joys of Cap’n Crunch?
Cheyenne’s entry into the LPGA will be just one more interesting story that makes up the ongoing charisma of the women’s tour, and I look forward to another Woods in the chase.