Cheyenne Woods Not just Tigers niece anymore
Tiger Woods’ title slump certainly hasn’t extended to his niece Cheyenne. After winning the Atlantic Coast Conference individual golf title, the Wake Forest junior wants to keep establishing her own identity during the upcoming NCAA regionals.
“Coming into Wake Forest (in 2008) … there was a lot of spotlight on me as Tiger Woods’ niece,” Woods said Tuesday. “Now that I’m into college a little more, I’ve shown that I am able to play, not being known as Tiger’s niece, but I have my own game, too. I feel people are starting to recognize that, and this past weekend, I think, helped a lot.”
A few more weekends like this one, and people might start to wonder if Cheyenne ought to offer some tips to her uncle after he has gone 17 months without a victory – the longest drought of his career.
During that span, Cheyenne Woods has won twice.
The Phoenix native ranks fourth in the ACC with an average score of 73.59. Most recently, she was the only player under par for all three rounds at the ACC Championship at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro.
Closing the tournament with a 68 that marked her best round of the season, Woods shot a 5-under 208 at the par-71 course to claim a seven-stroke win.
That lopsided margin of victory was reminiscent of the way Tiger used to dominate fields during his 71 career victories, including 14 majors. Describing their relationship as “decently close – as close as I am with any other uncle,” Cheyenne Woods said Tiger watched her victory on the Internet, sent her text messages and posted a congratulatory tweet after her victory.
Though having the Woods name stitched onto her golf bag undoubtedly brings extra pressure, she insists coming from her family has been a positive. Her father Earl Jr. is Tiger’s half-brother, and her paternal grandfather was Earl Sr.
“It’s definitely gotten my name out there as a collegiate golfer about to turn pro next year. It’s a good thing to have,” Cheyenne Woods said. “It’s helped me grow as a person and a player, being able to handle the interviews, the cameras, the spotlight.”
Said Wake Forest golf coach Dianne Dailey: “She’s just laid back – you don’t see her get bent out of shape about much. I don’t think her heart rate goes above 50.”
There’s definitely a family resemblance between uncle and niece. It’s found in their faces, not necessarily in their playing styles.
Cheyenne Woods says her swing compares more favorably to Ernie Els’ because it’s “nice and smooth, but still powerful.” Meanwhile, she says her uncle “is always hitting it, swinging out of his shoes, hitting it 400 yards.”
“My game is probably not as aggressive, but when I do need to make those shots, I will make them,” Cheyenne Woods said.
Dailey praises Woods’ calmness and her handiwork with the putter, saying she “reads greens better than anybody on our team.”
Woods’ immediate focus focus is on the NCAA regionals, and Wake Forest is almost certain to claim a spot in one of the three regional tournaments when the bids are announced Monday. After the NCAAs comes one final season with the Demon Deacons before she plans to turn pro.
“I know it’s going to be hard getting started – I’m not going to expect myself to jump up to the No. 1 spot and be the female Tiger Woods, like he was,” Cheyenne Woods said. “But I know I am talented, and I’ll just take it as it comes, work hard. I know there’s going to be ups and downs, so I know it’s a hard life, living the professional life, traveling. … I think it will be a struggle, but it’s one that I’m looking forward to and willing to work towards.”
Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge
ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.
The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.
They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.
Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.
Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.
Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.
''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''
The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.
In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''
Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.
Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia
Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.
Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.
Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.
Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.
It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.
The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.
Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son
ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.
Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.
''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''
They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.
''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''
Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.
''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''
Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.
Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.
Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.
Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?
Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.
Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”
Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.
Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.
The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.