Former Aledo Ladycats two-time state champion golfer Cheyenne Knight shot a 5-under par 66 during the first round of the 72-hole LPGA Volunteers of America Classic Thursday afternoon at Old American Golf Club at The Colony.
Knight is a rookie this year on the LPGA Tour.
Knight’s round included an eagle on the front nine, and she added three birdies. Knight, who played three years at the University of Alabama, did not card a single bogey today.
After a birdie on hole No. 14, Knight was briefly tied for the lead. Currently, Knight is in a three-way tie for third place and three strokes off the lead with play not yet concluded. Check www.lpga.com to view the leaderboard.
“My ball striking was really good today,” Knight said following a near birdie on hole No. 18. “I think I hit almost every fairway off the tee, and I played it smart today on approach shots and just tried to hit the center of the greens if I didn’t have a good line to the pin.
“I putted well – my speed was good – and I missed a few makeable ones coming in, but I have three more rounds to play so this was a good start.”
Coming into the tournament, Knight – knowing where she is on the money list – realizes she needs to place in the top five to retain her tour card for 2020. This is the final stop on this year’s LPGA tour.
But Knight said she is not under any pressure to finish that high; she just wants to put a good four rounds together.
“It will not bother me if I have to go to Q-school (tour-qualifying tournaments) again,” she said. “I really have nothing to lose this week, so I am just trying to be aggressive, get confidence and get some good mojo.”
After five consecutive pars to begin the match, Knight attacked the par-5 sixth hole. After a long drive off the tee, Knight’s second shot rolled up to the green. She used a wedge for a chip-in eagle.
“It wasn’t very windy today so I thought I could get there (to the green) in two (shots),” she said. “I hit my 3-hybrid just short of the green, and I felt really good over the chip and used a 58-degree wedge. The line had a break to the right and it rolled in.
“When the ball was six feet out I turned away because I knew it was going in. It looked good the whole way.”
Knight’s final birdie came on the par four No. 14.
“I had a birdy putt of 50 feet that broke a little bit to the right,” she said. “I played it a foot to the left, but it had some pace. But the ball hit the pin and dropped in. That was nice.”
Knight will tee off in the second round of the tournament at 1:30 p.m. Friday.
“It was neat that so many people came out and watched me today,” Knight said. “I love playing closer to home, and I always play well in the heat. It is nice to be able to stay at home in Aledo, seeing my dogs and sleeping in my own bed.”