Cheyenne Woods, the niece of Tiger Woods, made her professional LPGA Tour debut this weekend at the Wegmans LPGA Championship at Locust Hill Country Club. Cheyenne had a storied amateur career that included more than 30 tournament wins and a four-year stint at Wake Forest University that featured a 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference championship.
Cheyenne, who previously played in the tournament as an amateur in 2009, was granted an exemption to participate in this year's event as a pro. On Thursday, she paired with Christine Song and Song-Hee Kim.
Dealing with the normal challenge of the tournament, as well as the added pressure of being the niece of the most famous golfer in the world, Cheyenne fired a respectable 3-over 75. Her round included a first-hole par, a birdie on the 5th and an even par score through nine holes. On the back nine, Cheyenne got into trouble with a double bogey on 16 on her way to the 75, which had her just six shots off the lead.
"Definitely left some shots out there today, but it felt good to finally get out there! Loved the energy from all the fans here in Rochester!" Cheyenne tweeted to her more 4,200 followers.
But Friday, teeing off in the last group of the day and starting on the back nine, Cheyenne ran into more difficulties. She double-bogeyed her fourth and fifth holes en route to a front-nine 44 (7-over par). Cheyenne rebounded to post even-par on her back nine, but a two-day total of 10-over was not enough to make it to the weekend. The cut line finished at 7-over.
"I've been waiting and waiting and waiting for this day," Cheyenne told the USA Today after her first round. "I was very nervous with my first tee shot, but I was so glad to be out there."
Cheyenne, 21, is the daughter of Tiger's older brother, Earl Woods Jr. Like Tiger, Cheyenne received early instruction from Earl Woods Sr., her grandfather. According to a 2009 New York Times article, Earl Sr. had Cheyenne chipping golf balls at age 8.
Tiger has been encouraging his niece, sending a text message and offering some words of advice heading into her first pro tournament. Like her uncle, Cheyenne announced this week that she has a sponsorship deal in place with Nike.
Other prominent names missing the tournament's cut were Natalie Gulbis (+9) and Michelle Wie (+12).
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