Cheyenne Woods, thanks to last week’s breakout win at the Australian Ladies Masters, skyrocketed 209 places in the world rankings.
The 23-year-old niece of Tiger Woods has a way to go before she’s even in the neighborhood of her top-ranked uncle, but she took an enormous first step with her two-shot win on Sunday at Royal Pines Resort, moving to No. 154 from 363rd in women’s golf.
The younger Woods, who turned professional in 2012 and Sunday posted her first win on a major tour, prevailed over a stalwart field that included Hall of Famer Karrie Webb, who was disqualified halfway through; 23rd-ranked Jessica Korda; Euro Solheim Cup star Caroline Hedwell; and former world No. 1, Yani Tseng. The Ladies European Tour and the Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour co-sanction the Aussie Ladies Master and her win earned Woods a two-year LET exemption.
An All-American at Wake Forest, Woods recorded her first professional victory in a 2012 SunCoast mini-tour event and then missed the cut, costing her a spot on the senior circuit, during the first stage of LPGA Qualifying School the following week. She failed to advance through Q-School last year as well but qualified to play on the LET, where she finished her rookie season at No. 78 on the Order of Merit.
Woods will take her hot hand to this week’s LPGA co-sanctioned Women’s Australian Open at Victoria Golf Club, where she’ll play under a sponsor’s exemption. Korda, who won the LPGA's season-opening Pure Silk-Bahama LPGA Classic in January, is defending champion.