For the first time in 2014, the name Woods is back at the top of a leaderboard.
It’s still not Tiger Woods, of course. No, this winner is Cheyenne Woods, the 23-year-old niece of the 15-time major champion and currently-slumping world No. 1. On Sunday, Woods took the title at the Australian Ladies Masters, her first major tour victory.
The younger Woods, a former collegiate All-American at Wake Forest University and the daughter of Tiger’s half-brother, turned pro in 2012, but failed in her attempt to make the LPGA Tour, missing the cut in December’s qualifying event. Now, she’ll get another chance, as she’ll move on to enter the Women’s Australia Open next week.
While her famous last name has obviously garnered her a certain level of notoriety in golf, and it certainly doesn’t hurt having Tiger Woods for an uncle, there was always going to be some question about whether the hype was well-placed. Those questions should end quickly, because to borrow a phrase from Tiger – “winning takes care of everything”.
While the tournament wasn’t an LPGA event, and far from a true major, let’s not dismiss what Woods just accomplished. She vanquished a field that included several of the top ladies in the world. Jessica Korda finished tied for eighth, along with Spanish star Belen Mozo. Former ladies No. 1 Yani Tseng was just one stroke back, at seven-under-par.
Whether Woods will be able to follow this performance up with more and achieve her eventual goal of lasting success on the LPGA Tour remains to be seen, but sometimes all it takes is that first taste of success to start blazing a path that can’t be stopped. We’ve seen the effect on attendance, and therefore purses, that Tiger has had on the PGA Tour. It would be incredible to see if Cheyenne could have anything resembling that impact on the ladies’ game.