Cheyenne Woods tees off in the first round of the Open de España Femenino
Cheyenne Woods

While all eyes focused on Muirfield and the opening round of The Open Championship on Thursday, at the other Open in Spain, (de España Femenino), the other Woods took the first round lead at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid.

Ladies European Tour rookie professional Cheyenne Woods shot her career best round with an eight-under-par 64 to set the target early in the day.

Cheyenne, the daughter of Tiger’s half-brother Earl Junior, carded nine birdies and one bogey on the tight and hilly layout.

She had four birdies on the front nine and four more on the back, with a solitary bogey on hole-15, to lead a Ladies European Tour event for the first time.

“I started out birdie, birdie and that was a great way to start out. I had birdies here and there and my putting was great. I just played really steady. Everything clicked today so I felt great. Hopefully I can continue just part of that tomorrow,” said Woods, who turns 23 on Thursday next week during the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters at Buckinghamshire Golf Club.

She said she felt at home in the hot and sunny conditions which are similar to her native Arizona. “I practice at home and its 110, 115 degrees so this is pretty similar to home. It feels good. Spain has been awesome so far and it’s been a great event with LET.”

Woods teed off early taking advantage of the slightly cooler conditions and smooth greens but was finished more than two hours before her famous uncle teed off in The Open Championship. She said that she would be watching Tiger play in the afternoon.

She ended the day two shots clear of Spain’s Tania Elosegui, from San Sebastian, with South African Lee-Anne Pace a stroke further behind and Frenchwoman Celine Herbin alone at four under par.

Former Solheim Cup player Elosegui, who claimed her sole LET victory at the 2009 Dutch Open, said: “I’m very happy with my round. No bogeys, so that’s the best you can do. Six birdies and my putting was good. When I had to make it I made it.

“I have always liked playing in Spain. I don’t know why. Friends around, being with your family, it makes you more relaxed. You can also have a little bit more pressure maybe because you are in your own country but I like it and I try my best every week.”

Pace, currently second on the LET order of merit after a win in Turkey and a second place three weeks ago in Slovakia, also felt at home in the hot, arid conditions and said: “I love it. It’s a lot like the courses we play in South Africa and very similar on the greens and the layout. I quite like the course. I think I play well on tough courses. I’m feeling good. It’s only the first day so you never know what’s going to happen but I’m going to play like I always play, one shot at a time. Today worked and hopefully it will for the rest of the week.”

Current LET order of merit leader Gwladys Nocera of France, who is bidding for a fourth appearance in Europe’s Solheim Cup team having recently won the Allianz Ladies Slovak Open, carded a three-under-par 69 and was one of six players in a share of fifth place.