C. Woods embracing new feel of being LPGA member

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OCALA, Fla. – Cheyenne Woods will make her debut as a rookie member of the LPGA in Wednesday’s start of the season-opening Coates Golf Championship.

Woods, 24, earned tour membership tying for 11th with a strong finish at Q-School in December. Woods failed to make it through Q-School in her first two tries after turning pro but went to work on her game playing the Ladies European Tour and Symetra Tour. She won the LET’s Australian Ladies Masters last year.

“It feels great to officially be an LPGA member,” Woods said Monday at Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club. “I’ve had the privilege to play a few LPGA events in the past, but now to be a member feels a little different.”

Woods, who is constantly reminded she’s niece to Uncle Tiger, says there is a different feeling beginning this season.

“I feel like there might be less pressure now because I’ve earned my way here,” Woods said. “ So, I’m able to just kind of go out and play free.”

With a strong field for the season opener, Woods is playing this week on a sponsor’s exemption. Her next start will be the LET’s Australian Ladies Masters Feb. 12-15, where she will defend her title.

Woods was asked what she needs to work on most to contend in LPGA events.

“I’m always working on my putting and my short game,” Woods said. “I’m a very good ball striker, so that’s something I can always depend on and I always know is going to be there for me.”

Woods was one of the better drivers on the Symetra Tour last year. She has above average power and still ranked 11th in driving accuracy. She was 18th in hitting greens in regulation. She was 72nd in putts per greens in regulation.