Ladies European Tour rookie American Cheyenne Woods shot her career best round with an eight-under-par 64 to take the first round lead at the Spanish Open at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid.
While most of the world’s eyes focused on Muirfield and the opening round of The Open Championship on Thursday, to see how Tiger Woods was performing, the other Woods carded nine birdies and one bogey on the tight and hilly layout.
Cheyenne, the daughter of Tiger’s half-brother Earl Junior, had four birdies on the front nine and four more on the back, with a solitary bogey on hole-15, to lead a Ladies European Tour event for the first time.
“I started out birdie, birdie and that was a great way to start out. I had birdies here and there and my putting was great. I just played really steady. Everything clicked today so I felt great. Hopefully I can continue just part of that tomorrow,” said Woods, who turns 23 on Thursday next week.
She said she felt at home in the hot and sunny conditions which are similar to her native Arizona. “I practice at home and its 110, 115 degrees so this is pretty similar to home. It feels good. Spain has been awesome so far and it’s been a great event with LET.”
She ended the day two shots clear of Spain’s Tania Elosegui, from San Sebastian, with South African Lee-Anne Pace a stroke further behind and Frenchwoman Celine Herbin alone at four under par.
Current LET order of merit leader Gwladys Nocera of France, who is bidding for a fourth appearance in Europe’s Solheim Cup team having recently won the Allianz Ladies Slovak Open, carded a three-under-par 69 and was one of six players in a share of fifth place.
It a mixed day for the large Australian contingent, Karen Lunn and Alison Whitaker sit just inside the top 20, after signing for one-under-par rounds of 71. Rebecca Artis is at even par and tied for 32nd, while Nikki Campbell shares 43rd place at one-over par.
The current projected cut in the €350,000 event is one-over. Victorian and defending champion Stacey Keating is at two-over along with Sarah King. For Keating it is a bit unusual as they are not playing at the same venue as last year when she won. However she will be aiming to make the cut in her first title defence.
Bree Arthur is at three-over, 75, and tied for 79th, while Nikki Garrett and Whitney Hillier are a further shot adrift and share 93rd position. Kristie Smith (78) and New Zealand’s Cathryn Bristow (78), along with Stephanie Na (81) will have to produce a something special in the second round to make it through to the weekend.