CHUNCHEON, SOUTH KOREA - APRIL 14: U.S. golfer Tiger Woods participates in a golf teaching clinic for South Korean juniors during a Nike Golf "Make It Happen" event at Jade Palace Golf Club on April 14, 2011 in Chuncheon, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
Cheyenne Woods plans to join Uncle Tiger to pitch for the Nike team.
Nike Golf is about to add another Woods to its lineup of professionals playing its equipment. Tiger’s niece, Cheyenne Woods, who will make her professional debut at this week’s Wegmans LPGA Championship, expects to announce imminently that she has inked a sponsorship deal with her uncle’s equipment vendor of choice.
“We are working on it right now, so hopefully soon,” Woods told reporters Wednesday about one of golf’s worst-kept endorsement secrets.
As of Wednesday evening, Nike had yet to make the relationship official and a Nike spokesperson declined to comment on the situation. But a Cheyenne Woods-swoosh agreement would appear to be a done deal.
“I have been with Nike for a while,” said Woods, who turned pro and signed with Tiger’s agent, Mark Steinberg, shortly after graduating from college. “I played Nike through college. Wake Forest was a Nike school so I was thankful for that and wearing Nike apparel. So I'm very comfortable with Nike. And so it was just a perfect fit.”
Woods, who set the lowest scoring average in Wake Forest’s history, was also a 2011 All-American and Atlantic Coast Conference champion as well as a three-time All-ACC team member. She will play this week’s second major of the LPGA season on a sponsor’s exemption and hoped to garner additional such invitations for the remainder of the year before working her way to the tour via qualifying school in the fall. She also earned her way into the next major, July’s U.S. Women’s Open, during a recent qualifier.
Press folks wanted to know if there was any advice from Uncle Tiger. What might the winner of last week's Memorial Tournament, and now 73-time PGA Tour victor, may have said to the younger Woods upon her first foray on tour as a pro?
“Just to kick butt,” Woods said. “You know, Tiger is always dominating, so that is the one word of advice he would give me.”
Woods, by the way, will join the LPGA’s Suzann Pettersen, Michelle Wie and Amana Blumenherst, who also represent Nike on the women’s tour.