THE COLONY, TEX | In 2019, Cheyenne Knight had a picture-perfect first win as a rookie on the LPGA Tour. The Aledo, Texas native returned to her home state to set the scoring record at Old American Golf Club during The Ascendant LPGA benefiting Volunteers of America with an 18-under par finish.
“I always wanted to win in Texas if I ever got the opportunity down the road in my career,” Knight said, remembering that fairy tale victory. “So having my first win when I had a lot of family here was really special, a lot of people got to see it. They don't get to see me play that much, they have stuff going on and they can't travel around the world. It was great that they were here. It was really special. It was kind of like a Cinderella story."
Knight is happy to be back at the Old American Golf Club once again this week, where good memories are around every corner. When she walks the holes, she remembers the shots she hit down the stretch and how she felt in those winning moments.
But it’s been three years since her first and only LPGA win. While she’s enjoying the good memories she has at Old American, her focus this week – and every week – is on getting herself in contention for that second win.
“It's hard to win out here, it's really competitive,” Knight said Wednesday. “There is so much depth on the tour; anyone can win every week. They're the best players in the world for a reason. I'm just trying to be in contention every week because getting that experience and that feeling, feeling the nerves, is what we ultimately strive for.”
Knight might have a leg up this week in her pursuit of that elusive second title. The Old American Golf Club is notorious for how kind it is to players from the Lone Star state and Knight has tons of experience with the course. Even Knight could not deny that Old American is as Texas as it gets, presenting unique advantages for locals.
“It gets pretty windy here and I feel like (Texans) are very accustomed to playing in the wind,” she said. “We know how to play in the wind and we want it to be windy because we feel comfortable with that. The Bermuda grass greens and the fairways and chipping off that is something that you don't really get unless you live in the south, so I'm very comfortable with that. It requires different shots around the greens.”
That’s not to say Knight will be coasting through the course. Though being comfortable is a huge asset, Knight will still have to do what she can to ensure she brings a polished game to the tee on Thursday.
For Knight, playing well and being in contention also means getting off the course. With four years of tour experience under her belt now, she’s learned that not thinking about golf is just as important as thinking about golf.
“We play so much, so when I leave the golf course I need to find other things that I enjoy doing so I don't get burnt out,” Knight said. “I'm focusing on my craft and what I need to do to play well and the things I need to do every day to improve, a process-over-result type mentality that's helped me a lot this year. But just having other things that I enjoy doing has helped a lot, too.”
One of the things Knight likes to do when she’s off the course is shop, even if it’s just at Target. While she’s in The Colony, Tex. she might head over to her favorite shops outside of Fort Worth and get her hair done
But her favorite thing to do when she’s not playing is hang out with friends and family, something she’ll have plenty of opportunities to do this week.
“I love being at home because we're not home a lot,” Knight said. “My parents have two dogs so I love spending time with them. When I'm home I just love not living out of a suitcase and spending time with family.”
Even if Knight doesn’t come away with the win this time around, she’ll have plenty of opportunities to refresh her mind off the course and reset for the weeks to come. And that will give her a leg up on the competition no matter where she plays.