In 2020, Cheyenne Knight arrived in The Colony, Texas, at Old American Golf Club as the Volunteers of America Classic defending champion. She was the hunted. This week, she takes on a different role as a Solheim Cup Team USA hopeful, the hunter hoping to spark a fire in her game.
“It’s home. There’s so much love and support out here,” said Knight, who earned a season-best finish of a tie for fifth at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions in January. “It is always so special to come back and play here. A little bit warmer than December, so I like that, but a lot of memories from a couple years ago.
“I haven’t had the best year so far but reliving all those good memories and how well I played, it makes me grateful. Professional golf isn’t great all the time, or especially like it was my rookie year. But coming here to where I have won, there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”
On Monday, Knight spent the day on a Solheim Cup retreat with the likes of Team USA stalwarts Stacy Lewis, Michelle Wie West and Angela Stanford, the latter two assistant captains for Team USA. The group conversed, practiced their clay pigeon shooting, played some intense pickleball matches and even earned a few battle scars from archery at Reynolds Lake Oconee in Lake Oconee, Ga.
It was a fun day that will pay out in the long run and there’s a pressure that comes with being noticed, the center of attention. Knight faced it when she was being recruited by the University of Alabama. She felt it when she competed on the Epson Tour with her caliber of an amateur resume. Now, Knight senses it again. The 2019 Volunteers of America Classic winner might not be a favorite to land a captain’s pick from Pat Hurst, but the determination Knight has exerted in her career, in her life, shows that she will leave nothing back in pursuit of trying to make Team USA for the most coveted team event in women’s professional golf.
“I feel like the next thing for me is to make the Solheim Cup team. It has been one of my goals and I do want it a lot,” Knight said. “I watched all the Solheim Cups growing up. It is an added pressure, but it’s an honor to compete for a team and compete for a spot or pick.
“Each week is a new opportunity and that is how I am viewing it. Honestly, being around those girls that I have looked up to for a long time and when I think of three years ago, just starting my professional golf journey on the Epson Tour, to where I am now, I am proud of myself. Being considered is an honor, but I am a competitor and want to make the team. I want to make one last push to the [AIG Women’s] Open to get a spot. It’s opportunity and need to get a little better every day.”