Despite not getting the finishes she’s been hoping for as of late, Cheyenne Woods has, she will admit, been playing better golf. I followed her opening two rounds this week at the Marathon Classic in Sylvania, Ohio, and was fortunate enough to have a couple of conversations with her. We covered a range of topics, from her second round performance, to who she would take on in a $10 million match, a la Tiger vs Phil.
Q: You started the round -1 and finished -3. What was working, what wasn’t?
A: I made a few more birdies today. I definitely struggled at the turn, on my front nine. But I made a few good putts, which definitely helped. And it was nice to kind of just grind it out and see those balls drop.
Q: You’re wearing a long-sleeve shirt. Aren’t you boiling?
A: I’m not, it’s pretty thin! Nike makes a good long-sleeve shirt (laughs).
Q: Well there’s a good free ad for Nike. This course isn’t yielding too low of scores. How do you feel it’s set up compared to other courses on Tour?
A: I think it’s a good test. It’s not a super long course, but I think it’s still demanding with the shapes of the holes, and having to place the ball on certain sides of the fairways. So it’s a good challenge, and I think that sort of reflects in the scores, we haven’t really seen anyone go lights out.
Q: Did the course play any different today than yesterday?
A: It was a little softer this morning. So it wasn’t rolling out quite as far, or bouncing quite as much. That was about it.
Q: You seem to have a pretty calm demeanor out there. Do you have, or ever show, a temper?
A: (Laughs). I definitely get frustrated! I got frustrated a bit today. I think in golf, you have to kind of keep a level head, and stay optimistic, and keep in control of your emotions. So I try to do that.
Q: I’m curious. Does it matter at all who you’re playing with and how they play? You played with a fellow Wake Forest girl today, does that sort of thing matter at all?
A: It’s always nice to play with someone who is playing well. I think it sort of, I don’t know, inspires you (laughs). It’s always nice to have good golf around you, but even if they’re having a tough day, just kind of focusing on what you can do.
Q: Did you talk Wake Forest out there?
A: Oh yeah! All day.
Q: Do you have a number in mind for tomorrow or Sunday?
A: I’ll have to see where they end up. I think the lead is at -7. If I can shoot something like 4-under tomorrow. I wanted to get at least 4 or 5 under today. So hopefully tomorrow I can do that.
Q: What do you think of the back-to-back Par-5’s to finish here?
A: I think its nice! They’re two opportunities to make birdies coming in. Both of them you can get pretty close in two. I think it’s a great opportunity, it always makes the finish on Sunday exciting. So, I enjoy it.
Q: You’ve been playing some really good golf as of late. How close do you feel you are to breaking through?
A: I feel pretty close. Golf is something where it’s all about the timing and the patience of how your game is coming together. Every week I feel like my game has been progressing, so I’m just going to continue to look at that and keep putting in the work. I’m hoping to break through and get some top-tens, some top-threes, and hopefully a win soon.
Q: Can you tell me a little bit about your childhood?
A: I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. I’ve been playing golf since I was about six years old. I was quite the tomboy, played every sport possible. Grew up watching Tiger on TV, and he was really the inspiration for me. So it was always my dream to play LPGA Tour and I would watch it every weekend; go out and watch when they came to Phoenix. So it’s nice to be able to be out here, and be one of them now.
Q: What’s your path been to the LPGA? College? Mini-tours?
A: I played 4 years at Wake Forest University, and then went to Q-School and didn’t make it through; so I played on the European Tour for a year-and-a-half. Then I went to Symetra Tour, and got my card for the LPGA. So this is my fourth year out here now. It’s been great.
Q: Life on the LPGA Tour is pretty great from what I gather, but do you have any stories of grinding through the European Tour or Symetra Tour, or in college?
A: I feel like there’s lots of stories. I think the hardest part is travelling week-in and week-out. You’re not making a lot of money, you’re trying to save as much as you can. I don’t have any crazy stories off the top of my head, but definitely some long, long drives and road trips, not staying in nice hotels; it’s not all glitz and glam like people may think it is in the professional golf world. But sometimes it’s what you have to do to get to this level.
Q: Tiger and Phil are playing for $10 Million. Who would you want to play for $10 million out here on the LPGA?
A: $10 million? On the Tour? Hmmm. I play a lot against Olafia Kristinsdottir, we went to Wake Forest together. So we have some matches against each other out here once in a while. I think I could take her for ten mil.
Are you serious? I don’t know about that. If she’s gonna talk big, I’ll just let my actions talk for me.
Q: Would you ever want to play in a PGA event?
A: If it was a team, co-sanctioned event, then probably, but if it was strictly just PGA Tour, probably not.
Q: I know it may be tough to answer, but how do you think Brittany (Lincicome) will fare out there?
A: Oh it’s exciting! I think she will play well, she’s an amazing player. She can really hit the ball, and keep up, and probably outdrive some of them as well. I think she’s going to be competitive, and I’m really rooting for her.
And last, but not least, here she is teeing off on the tough, but picturesque, par-3 8th hole.