At the 2019 Volunteers of America Classic, Cheyenne Knight was on the brink of returning to LPGA Q-Series. She walked away a Rolex First-Time Winner. Knight sparkled in her home state of Texas, fending off fellow Americans Jaye Marie Green and Brittany Altomare to become one of only two rookies in 2019 to earn a victory last season, along with Jeongeun Lee6 at the U.S. Women’s Open.
“I remember like 2019, my rookie year was really hard, but I remember the week before the VOA everything just started clicking and, you know, I had nothing to lose this tournament. I knew I needed top‑5 or I was going to go back to [Q-Series]. I think I was just mentally fine with either/or. If I kept my card or lost my card, I knew I was going to be okay,” said Knight, who set the 72-hole tournament record with her 266 (-18). “I just had a really good mindset. I was really confident and I played to win and I was fearless because I had nothing to lose. Yeah, so I think that week when I was nervous, I was really just grateful for the experience.
It was a full-circle moment for Knight in many ways; she had played in the VOA Classic in 2016 as an amateur while she attended the University of Alabama and finished in a tie for 29th in her first LPGA Tour appearance. Three years later, to win around friends and family at the Old American Golf Club meant more than she could express.
“You know, my family, they've seen all the ups and downs in my golf game, especially my mom and dad have been there like through everything and they've sacrificed a lot for me. So they'll be here this year, but it will be a little different without my whole family,” said Knight. “You know, I've missed so many family occasions for golf, so for them to be there and see me win, it was just so special because, you know, our family's just been through a lot in general. Just to have that moment with everyone was really cool.”
Knight said she’s learned a lot about her game since her win and is soaking in the experience of defending a title this week in The Colony, Texas. “I feel like my game's trending,” said Knight, who earned her highest result of 2020 at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open when she finished in a tie for second. “I'm just trying to get a little bit better every day and just, you know, I want to be in those positions so just try and keep it close. Obviously you always want to have a chance to win, but yeah, just kind of ‑‑ and I feel like when I play my best, I just have a really good attitude. Just kind of trying to keep doing that.”