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Preview Interview with Cheyenne Woods at the ISPS HANDA Women´s Australian Open

The World No. 159 reflects on a whirlwind few days following her victory at the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters and looks ahead to the challenge of Victoria Golf Club this week.

THE MODERATOR:  This is actually just part of it all now, more cameras, sometimes they're slow, sometimes they're ready, but they're here anyway.  How has it been since Sunday?

CHEYENNE WOODS: Oh wow, it feels like it was so long ago because so much has happened, but it's been really exciting.  I've had a few interviews here and there, a lot of contact from my family back home and friends texting, and Twitting, Instagram, so it's been really, really  exciting and to see how excited everybody is feels good.

THE MODERATOR: It did go onto the Golf Channel, there were a couple of hours there I believe after Pebble Beach, so were they all glued to the TV watching you?

CHEYENNE WOODS: They were and I hear the Golf Channel will replay it again this week, so they're all going to record it and make sure they have it tuned it. So it's good that they're so far away from me but still able to watch and support.

THE MODERATOR: Have you looked at the golf course, have you played any holes here so far?

CHEYENNE WOODS: Yeah I just finished playing; actually I played the full 18.  The course is beautiful, it's in great shape. It's really interesting; you definitely have to place the ball pretty well this week.  So I'm looking forward to it.

THE MODERATOR:  Of course, not jumping the gun, but it would be enormous if you did as well this week as you did last week.

CHEYENNE WOODS: It would, that would be ideal, for sure.  But I'm just going to take it one day at a time. My game feels good and it feels good that I was able to put four solid rounds together last week. So I guess I'll take it one day at a time.

Q.  Cheyenne, do you like the attention?

CHEYENNE WOODS:  I mean, for me it's just what comes with it.  Just having the last name of has always drawn a lot of attention, so for me this is normal; the interviews or the TV cameras following me, so it's just what I've always known.

Q.  If it gets bigger and bigger, would you imagine you'll enjoy that and it would in a way help you?

CHEYENNE WOODS: I don't think it would go either way, hurt me or help me but it is exciting to see people excited about golf or excited about  whatever I'm doing out here, so either way I think it's positive for the game and positive for women's golf.

Q.  With that win last week, how long had you always known that your career would go in this direction, that you'd be successful? Have you always had that belief?

CHEYENNE WOODS: Yes, I mean I've always, since I started playing golf at five or six years old, I always saw myself playing professionally and being successful and playing on the LPGA one day.  So from the beginning I always knew that this is where I would be, so it's really exciting to finally kind of see it play out.

Q.  It's just been a whirlwind, hasn't it?  It's not just in Australia, it's from the States.  You've had way more focus. I know you just said that you've had it for your life, but it must have magnified tenfold in the last days?

CHEYENNE WOODS: Yeah definitely and I see it most just through social media.  A lot of followers, Twitter, Instagram, just people contacting me through that and showing that they've seen me play or seen an article here, an article there.  So it's crazy to me that I'm over here and it's spread so far and so fast to so many people.

Q.  How will you go about focusing that energy and attention into a good performance?  Talking about taking it one day at a time, any particular routines or method you've got to do that?

CHEYENNE WOODS: For me it's just going through my normal preparation of a tournament, playing a practice round, Pro-Am tomorrow, just relaxing at the hotel, just really focusing on this one week.  So nothing has changed from how I prepared last week to this week.

Q.  How many Twitter followers have you got now and how many did you have this time last week?

CHEYENNE WOODS: Last week I had about 20,000 and I probably gained about 5,000 followers in two days, so it's a lot.

Q.  Did you do any interviews back into the States at all?

CHEYENNE WOODS: I spoke with the Golf Channel and that was really it.  I'll speak to the Golf Channel again tonight.

Q.  We have to ask you about Tiger. Have you had any contact with him?

CHEYENNE WOODS: Yeah, he texted me after I finished playing and congratulated me and also sent out a Tweet to congratulate me.  So it's kind of cool that he was following along with the rest of my family.

Q.  You haven't had anything personal with him; you haven't been on the phone or anything like that?

CHEYENNE WOODS: No, I haven't even been on the phone with my Mum or Dad - it's been so crazy.  The phone calls are pretty expensive.  I've got to be careful with my phone bill.

Q.  You must feel different today than you did last week going into the tournament.  For all the desire to take it one day at a time, what pressure are you starting to feel coming into this tournament?

CHEYENNE WOODS: Not a whole lot of pressure.  I know there are a lot of people watching me, a lot more than normal but it does feel completely different from last week.  Last week I was going into the tournament after missing a cut completely and then to win and now coming into this week, after playing so well, it feels really good.  So I will try my best to play one day at a time and just focus on the one shot but it feels good that I was able to play well last week and hopefully that will carry over to this week.

Q. Cheyenne, you talked about that will to win, that belief to win, where do you think that comes from?

CHEYENNE WOODS: I believe that it comes from, a little bit of just me personally, always growing up in an athletic family, not only Tiger plays professionally but a lot of my other family members just played sports in general and always competed, so I've always been very competitive, saw myself being successful. 

Growing up watching Tiger be so successful, I always thought why not me?  Why wouldn't I be able to do that?  No one is stopping me. I guess just being young and then also my grandfather had a huge impact on me, when he got me started and just how much belief he had in me, I think really took an impact and I still carry it today.

Q.  You mentioned your grandfather, I'm sure you've been asked about this a lot but what was that like getting coached by him earlier?  How much did he have to do with you?  There are lots of stories about the way that he Tiger with rattling the coins in the pocket and these sorts of legends that go around?  Did he do that with you?  Did he use those methods?

CHEYENNE WOODS: For me, my relationship with my grandfather was more so over the phone.  He lived in California and my family and I lived in Arizona, so we would only see him on summer vacations.  I was only able to go out onto the course with him a handful of times probably in my whole time being with him, but I would definitely say just him being over the phone and just kind of coaching - not necessarily coaching but leading me through junior golf, what tournaments to play, telling me stories about him and Tiger when he was a junior, just little things like that.  So more just conversations rather than hands on on the course.

Q.  What about Tiger when you were younger, did he have an influence or did you work with him much on golf?

CHEYENNE WOODS: No, not really, I - no, not really [LAUGHS].  I mean I've played with Tiger a few times for sure and he's always been really supportive but never really the mechanics; that's always been left up to my swing coach.  My swing coach was found through Tiger and my grandfather; they researched the best coach in Phoenix for me and set me up with him.  That's helped me tremendously and I still work with him.   It's been 12 years.

Q.  You're still a baby in terms of the experience you're going to gain playing this game and the dust hasn't really settled on what you did last week, but have you got a kind of idea in terms of the learning curve, what you've learnt in the last week as a professional golfer?

CHEYENNE WOODS:  Yeah, I think I've learned a lot in this past week, probably more than I've learned last year.  Mentally I learned a lot.  Mentally l learned what I'm capable of.  I have had the lead in a professional event before but I completely blew it the next day, so for me to be able to have the lead for two consecutive days and follow through and be confident and calm throughout the entire round was really big for me.

Q.  I've just been out on the course, the flies are at an all-time high - they're unbelievable.  How did you cope with them out there?

CHEYENNE WOODS: They're quite annoying but everyone has to deal with them so I'll just have to suck it up and get over it.

Q.  After looking at the course, what part of your game will you have to nail to be competitive this week?

CHEYENNE WOODS: I would say ball striking is very important.  You definitely have to place the ball on this course.  It's not as straight forward and open as Royal Pines last week.  So I'd say ball striking and some of these greens are pretty tricky with the slopes and all of that.  So that's something I'll focus on also.

THE MODERATOR: Your plans after this have they changed at all, or after this week, where do you plan to go?

CHEYENNE WOODS: This week I still plan on going back to Phoenix Arizona where I'm from.  I have a Symetra Tour event there, which is the qualifying tour for LPGA that I'll be playing the full season of.  So I'll be there for that event and then the next week I'll be in LA for another Symetra Tour event. So, so far my plans haven't changed, I still plan on playing Symetra and just earning my way, working my way towards LPGA.


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