Cheyenne Knight (Aledo, Texas) was the 2016 Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) Freshman of the Year. In 2017, she was a WGCA First-Team All-American. The Alabama junior was exempt into Stage II (through her Golfweek ranking) of LPGA Qualifying Tournament this week and therefore threw her name into the hat. She is the No. 7 ranked amateur in the world.
“I wanted this opportunity and I definitely wanted to give it a try to see what it is like out there (Q-School) for those trying to get to the LPGA,” said Knight, who tee’s at 1:27 p.m. on the Panther course in round one Thursday. “The LPGA is my ultimate goal so I want to see how everything works and play with girls that have the potential to be on tour.”
Like any underclassmen that decides to test Q-School before the end of their eligibility, the inevitable question arises. What happens if you secure LPGA status at Final Stage in December?
“It’s kind of a hard subject because I’m not done with school yet,” said Knight. “I’ll see how second stage goes and make my decision from there. I think I’ll just have a feeling based on how I play if I’m ready or not (for the LPGA).”
Knight first made a name for herself in May of 2016 when she received a spot in the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout and finished T29. She soaked in everything that week – walking to the range and hitting near Natalie Gulbis and Inbee Park to hearing her name announced on the first tee.
“It was so cool to be announced on the first tee and I played with a lot of really good players like Belen Mozo,” said the 20-year-old. “I asked a lot of questions and they loved to talk about life on Tour so I learned a lot.”
Knight recently finished T16 at the Tar Heel Invitational. She already has three college victories and six top five finishes during her two years plus at Alabama.
“I’ve learned a lot from Emma (Talley), Janie (Jackson) and of course Mic (Potter),” said Knight. “They’ve helped me develop a lot as a player and I’ve learned how I play the game and I’ve learned to avoid trying to be someone I’m not. Being around good players has made me better. I remember my freshman year when I played with Leona Maguire. Watching her and being around her makes me better.”
Maguire is the No. 1 amateur in the world and is also in Stage II of Qualifying Tournament this week.
Knight, a PR major, said Stage II comes at a perfect time for her, right after midterms and right before the next team tournament in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Before arriving in Venice, she spoke to Emma Talley, who recently secured her LPGA card through the Symetra Tour, and Janie Jackson, who is in Stage II.
“They both told me that it’s a long four days and I need to stay patient,” said Knight. “They told me not to get flustered or upset if things go wrong. They told me that I’m an amateur and I have nothing to lose. They also told me to be fearless and aggressive.”
Her caddy this week will be her father, Gene, who is responsible for signing Cheyenne up for golf camp when she was five. At that time, she thought golf was boring. She didn’t truly catch the bug until she was nine.
Knight will head back to Tuscaloosa after Stage II to continue her busy life as a student-athlete. In addition to golf and her studies, she is also a member of the sorority Alpha Gamma Delta.