Paced by four birdies, former Aledo Ladycats two-time state champion golfer Cheyenne Knight shot a 69 during the opening round of the LPGA Walmart Northwest Arkansas Championship Friday at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Arkansas.
Knight, who played three years at Alabama and is a rookie this year on the LPGA tour, was tied for 24th place overall after she finished her round.
More than half the field as of this writing had yet to finish respective opening rounds, meaning Knight’s placement on the leaderboard could move up or down after the first round is completed. See www.lpga.com for final first-round scores.
The field in the 54-hole tournament will be cut to the top 77 players and ties after Saturday’s second round.
Knight will tee off at 12:15 p.m. Saturday, the second day of the three-day tournament. She will begin play on hole No. 10.
Knight said her putting helped her score low today. Her big highlight was sinking a breaking 30-foot putt on the par 4, 16th hole.
“It (the putt) was a big breaker,” Knight said. “It was a good putt. I thought I hit a lot of good putts today. I kind of struggled with the speed, but they were on line and that helps my confidence. I just need to get my speed a little better tomorrow.”
Knight rolled in a 10-foot putt for birdie on the par 4, No. 9 hole, landing her approach to the left of the cup. She added a nine-foot birdie putt on No. 11, a par 3, before her big putt on 16. Her first birdie came on the par-three, No. 3 hole.
“I aimed my putt inside the left edge and kind of snuck it in there,” Knight said of her birdie on No. 9. “I might have played too much break, but it caught the edge.”
Knight also was solid from the fairway, hitting 15 of 18 greens in regulation.
“My goal for tomorrow is to move up the leaderboard,” she said. “I just need to play more aggressive and get my putts to the hole. At this point, I am satisfied with my overall game. I am hitting it well and feeling good.”
See the July 5 issue of The Community News for a feature on Knight and how she is progressing during her rookie season on the LPGA tour.