December 9, 2020
Houston, Texas, USA
Champions Golf Club
THE MODERATOR: Please join me in welcoming Cheyenne Knight to the interview room area. Cheyenne is a Texas native playing in her first U.S. Women's Open.
Talk about your journey to make it to this U.S. Women's Open.
CHEYENNE KNIGHT: Yeah, like you said, this is my first one. I've done the qualifying process for a long time. I've been alternate a few times.
But winning last year at the Volunteers of America got me a spot in, and even though we're playing in December, it's really warm right now, so I'm really happy to be here.
THE MODERATOR: You have some familiarity; you've been out here before. Talk about the courses and how they fit your game.
CHEYENNE KNIGHT: Yeah, I think it's a ball striker's golf course, and I tend to hit it pretty straight, so I think that will help me. I putt really well. I think I have the speed of the greens dialed in pretty good, so feeling good about that.
But they're similar in a lot of ways but also different, but I think ball-striking and having the speed down on the Bermuda is going to be really important this week.
Q. It's always exciting to be playing in your first U.S. Women's Open. How is it more exciting, the fact that it's in your hometown? You went to high school at the Woodlands High School.
CHEYENNE KNIGHT: Yeah, it's great. I've been here a lot. Like my dad is with me this week and I've played nine-hole tournaments out here. I mean, I don't remember them, of course, but I've been here a lot. It's really special. Kind of come full circle. Like growing up playing junior golf here and now getting to compete in my first U.S. Women's Open is really special.
Q. How many years did you go to the Woodlands before you transferred out?
CHEYENNE KNIGHT: I just went my freshman year, but born and raised. Drove by the hospital I was born in on the way here, so I know this area really well.
Q. Did you win a state championship when you were at the Woodlands?
CHEYENNE KNIGHT: I did not, no. Just two at Aledo.
Q. I'm sure you'd like to see Houston be a regular stop on the LPGA Tour. Talk about that and what it would mean for junior golfers and women golfers, recreational golfers in general, if there was a stop in Houston every year.
CHEYENNE KNIGHT: Yeah, I would love for there to be a spot. I mean, no income tax in Texas, so you don't have to cut a little bit off your paycheck. I mean, there's a lot of great courses. I really hope we make two or three stops here on Tour. We only have one right now.
But I think this week will just show everyone just how good golf is in Houston and just Texas in general, and you can play all year-round, so I really hope -- I didn't get to -- I never watched an LPGA tournament when I was growing up. I never got to go to one. So I think if there is one, just a local stop, and how big junior golf is here, just getting like little girls to see their idols would be really cool.
Q. What sort of advantages do you think players from Texas will have this week?
CHEYENNE KNIGHT: I think just Bermudagrass. I've said that a good bit, but more girls live in Florida and Texas now. But for ones that don't play on it a lot I think it is going to be a challenge, especially with the rain on Friday.
I mean, the fairways are really tight right now, so those tight chips you have around the green, I think it's going to be a little bit difficult if you do miss the green just how to judge it.
But I think just -- I think we just know how to play this golf course. I know a lot of us from Texas have been here a good bit and kind of know what to expect and didn't have to cram a lot this week.
Q. Last two LPGA events in Texas have been won by you and Angela. Do you think there's something to be said for that?
CHEYENNE KNIGHT: Yeah. And I think also why we like tend to play well here is we're just -- we want to play well for our state and also like win at home or close to home. I hope the Texas girls represent this week.
Q. You know Angela pretty well. Just talk about last week and kind of as a friend of hers what that meant.
CHEYENNE KNIGHT: Oh, yeah, I'm so -- I was so mad at myself that I left because I had to go home and pack to come here. But I saw her bogey 11. That's when I left, because I was like, Okay, we'll see.
But just how -- I've played with Angela like a lot this year, and just every time I've played with her she was getting better. She changed putters a few weeks ago, and I first saw her use it here. I was like, Wow, that looks really good. So she's been working really hard.
I'm really happy for her. I mean, she just has like this drive now, like especially her -- I mean, she ran a half marathon like two or three weeks ago. And I was like, Are you playing Sunday? She's like, No. I'm going to go run a half marathon. Just she's in her 40s but you'd never know. She's playing the best I've ever seen her play right now, so it's really awesome, and she deserves it all.
Just watching her, I was watching it on my phone on the way home and just how clutch she was making those birdie putts in really tough conditions was awesome.
Q. You say she went to the same high school; she's older than you are, but has she been like a mentor to you or has she helped you out any on the Tour?
CHEYENNE KNIGHT: Yeah, for sure. I played a few practice rounds with her last year, and I would say Angela and Stacy are not -- they're people of few words, so if they say something you'd better pay attention.
Yeah, Stacy has helped me a lot last year just trying to get comfortable, because my rookie year I was not comfortable a lot of the time. I remember playing with her in Arkansas and she was just telling me to believe in myself. Yeah, I mean, I idolized Stacy growing up and would see her sometimes and see her dad a lot out at the Woodlands Country Club. Yeah, she's great.
Q. Whenever you start to struggle on the course, is there a certain swing thought that you have that kind of gets you back on track, like a go-to thought or anything like that?
CHEYENNE KNIGHT: Yeah, I think I just tell myself to commit to it more. You know, you're either going to hit a good or a bad shot. You kind of have to accept it. Whenever things start going not well, I just try to mentally stay strong and really try to visualize my shots, because I feel like when I get a little bit off is when I'm thinking about what I don't want to do instead of just committing to the shot at hand.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports