Cheyenne Wood – Share of Course Record at Manulife
I’ve been waiting for a while now to see how Cheyenne Woods, the niece of Tiger Woods, pans out. When she came out of Wake Forest, I was impressed, but thought that she needed to get the scoring average down quicker than she was. It was an idiotic thought. That’s what the next level of competition is for, learning to swim with lower-score folks, and to shoot better rounds more consistently. I also ignored the fact that every golfer blossoms on his or her own schedule, something we all fall for a lot when someone doesn’t start winning when we think they should.
Cheyenne Woods shares more than a passing kinship to Tiger. I was not aware until today that Tiger’s famous coach father was her first mentor as well. Looking at the Woods family swings in full speed and slo-mo, there is marked similarity, with one commentator remarking that the Cheyenne swing bears a lot of similarity to the Tiger swing of about the year 2000. Remember 2000? Tiger? When he was awesome?.
Niece Cheyenne has not been idle in the last two or three years, joining the European Ladies Tour, and notching her first major tour victory in 2013, the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters. She had previously won an event on the Sun Tour.
I guess that there’s not much to criticize in Cheyenne’s scoring average so far this week, as they tee it up in Cambridge, Ontario for the Manulife. The first round is over, and she basically tied the course record for the Whistle Bear Golf Club with a 63, sharing it with Matt Bettencourt and Jon Mills. If she keeps this up, they’re going to start referring to her as Cheyenne Woods, and to Tiger as the uncle of the famous LPGA golfer.
It seems to be in the actual tournaments that rookie Cheyenne shines, because she’s never been too much to write home about in the qualification category. Still, she managed to get here, and can play in numerous events for 2015. Win something like this, and the tour perks will get a whole lot rosier, though. Whether or not she does, the questions are pretty well answered as far as I’m concerned.
Despite the fact that Tiger broke the whole African-American golf thing wide open by becoming the scariest player on the planet for several years, Cheyenne observes that there is still much to do. The jury is still out on whether a tide of African-American youth will follow her family tree into the game, at a time when everyone is straining under the cost of playing with any frequency. If my situation is mirrored in general across the country, the range has become my favorite course, and I don’t get out there nearly as often. That may be true in a lot of families.
In citing the present situation, Cheyenne remarked that an African-American woman has never won on the LPGA. That statement was shocking to me, and I thought that she couldn’t possibly be correct. Going back through the annals, I set about disproving the notion, but I couldn’t. Stars and heroines of the game, yes. The tennis great, Althea Gibson, also played golf on the LPGA tour, appearing in almost two hundred tournaments. Multi-sport golfers may have been more common then, and Gibson was supremely gifted at several. Still, no wins. There was LaRee Pearl Sugg, Renee Powell, and Andia Winslow, but still no wins. Certainly, it’s coming, just as it did for the PGA before the super-explosion known as Tiger. For Cheyenne, it underscores the need to make golf more “accessible and inclusive.”
For today, Cheyenne Woods owns a share of the course record, and a one-stroke lead over Sandra Gal and Israel’s Laetitia Beck at minus 8. For today, that’s good enough. Tomorrow, we’ll see.