GOLD COAST, Australia – Cheyenne Woods won the Australian Ladies Masters on Sunday for her first major professional tour victory, holding off 17-year-old Australian amateur Minjee Lee by two strokes.
The 23-year-old Woods, Tiger Woods’ niece, closed with a 4-under 69 at Royal Pines to finish at 16-under 276. Lee also shot 69 in the event sanctioned by the European and Australian tours.
Woods birdied the par-5 15th to open a two-stroke lead, hitting a wedge from about 120 yards to 4 feet. On the par-5 18th, she matched Lee with a birdie, holing out from 1½ feet.
“This is a huge accomplishment for me,” Woods said on ladieseuropeantour.com.
“The Ladies European Tour has been great to be able to play this last year. I’ve been able to see all of these great players, play with Solheim Cup members, so I’ve learned so much from all of these girls, and to be able to come out here and actually compete with them and come out on top was huge for me.”
From Phoenix, Woods is the daughter of Earl Dennison Woods Jr., Tiger Woods’ half brother.
Uncle Tiger took to Twitter to offer his congratulations:
“Way to go @Cheyenne_Woods ! A great win and accomplishment. I’m so proud of you.”
Woods turned professional in 2012 after an All-America career at Wake Forest. Her only previous professional victory came in 2012 in a SunCoast mini-tour event. In December, she missed the cut in the LPGA Tour’s qualifying tournament in a failed bid to earn a spot on the circuit.
Woods will play next week in the LPGA Tour-sanctioned Women’s Australian Open in Victoria.
The victory came a week after Woods missed the cut in an LET event in New Zealand.
“Not necessarily a shock, but I missed the cut last week by two shots in New Zealand – 77, 71 – so I didn’t play well last week, but I came into this week with a new mindset,” Woods said. “I worked on a few things, and everything just kind of clicked. It worked out really well. After the first round I knew I could win, so from then on that was the goal.”
South Africa’s Stacy Lee Bregman and Sweden’s Camilla Lennarth tied for third at 12 under. Bregman closed with a 72, and Lennarth shot 70.