Cheyenne Woods Wins in Australia
Two big stories came out of the men’s and women’s pro golf tours this weekend.
The first was another big win for 35-year-old Jimmy Walker, who overcame final-round back-nine jitters to eke out a one-shot victory in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. It was Walker’s third title in eight starts – his first three tour wins ever – making him the hottest golfer on the PGA Tour and an early prospect for landing a coveted slot on the Ryder Cup team.
Walker was five shots clear of the field at the 10th but stumbled with a bad-chip bogey at the 12th and three-putt bogies on 13 and 17. It took a slippery, five-foot par putt at the 18th – “The best stroke of the back nine, really,” said Walker – to secure a one-stroke buffer over Dustin Johnson and Jim Renner.
Walker’s two-over-par 74 matched the highest closing round by a Pebble Beach winner over the last 20 years.
Meanwhile, half a world away, 23-year-old Cheyenne Woods was turning heads after winning the Ladies European Tour’s Australia Women’s Masters, her first major professional tour victory.
“I've been pro for two years and, for the majority of it, people just think of me as Tiger Woods' niece, so now I have a game of my own and I have a title now, a win, which is exciting,” she said. “It's nice now to say to people that I can play and I'm not just a name. Growing up with the last name of Woods, there's a lot of expectations and pressure and spotlight on you but I always knew that I was able to win. I always knew I'd be able to compete with these ladies.”
An All-America standout at Wake Forest and winner of more than 30 amateur titles, Woods’ solid two-stroke victory earned a two-year exemption on the Ladies European Tour. She will play this week in the LPGA Tour-sanctioned Women's Australian Open in Victoria.
PGA Tour: Feb. 13-16; Northern Trust Open, Riviera CC; Pacific Palisades, CA
Champions Tour: Feb. 14-16; ACE Group Classic; TwinEagles GC; Naples, FL
LPGA Tour: Feb. 13-16; ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open; Victoria, Australia
Chris Duthie is a contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via www.coloradoavidgolfer.com.