The “Stuck at Home With” series profiles players, caddies and staff in the women’s game who are making the most of an unprecedented break in tour life due to the coronavirus pandemic. New stories will be posted every Tuesday and Thursday.
Cheyenne Knight was in Houston to promote the 75th U.S. Women’s Open when they canceled the rodeo. The Woodlands, Texas, native knew then that her world was about to change even more drastically. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is massive in these parts.
Knight, 23, went home to Aledo to pack for the LPGA event in Phoenix, only to find out the next day that it had been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, along with the Kia Classic and ANA Inspiration, the first major of the year.
Now, two weeks later, she knows even less about when tour life might resume. All events on the LPGA schedule have been postponed through April.
“I still live at home,” said Knight. “I know people that have made some big purchases – a house, a car – and nothing is coming in for however long this is going to last.”
These are stressful times. Knight was supposed to tee it up in her first ANA Inspiration this week. She’d prepped hard for Mission Hills, a course she has only seen on TV.
And while that’s disappointing, she knows that she’s better off than most, having won late in the season last year in Texas to secure strong status on the LPGA and money in the bank. She bought an iPad and TrackMan with her $195,000 first-place check.
While some have yet to compete on the LPGA, Knight played in all four events the LPGA staged in 2020, earning $34,720.
After the Volvik Founders Cup was postponed, Knight made the 10-hour drive east to visit her boyfriend in Birmingham, Alabama. Robby Prater played golf at Alabama at the same time as Knight and recently took a job with a sports agency. They were still able to play golf in Birmingham and work on puzzles. An impromptu 10-day visit is a significant silver lining for long-distance couples.
Knight drove back to Texas last week where her club, Shady Oaks, is still closed. She’ll instead go to work at the garage net that she’s had since high school. The winters are so dicey in Aledo she’s worn a hole through it.
Knight grew up riding horses and made the tough decision to leave them behind and pursue golf seriously at age 12. She lives with her parents in a neighborhood outside of Fort Worth, but 100 yards down the road there are pastures with livestock.
“We hear the donkeys in the morning,” she said.
Knight joked with her mom that she might get a part-time job working at the stables if this break carries on much longer.
While Knight was away in Alabama, her mom made a shadow box from Cheyenne’s win at the Volunteers of America Classic, held only 60 miles from the family home. Even her pink hair ribbon was saved.
Knight recently finished “Peaky Blinders” (her favorite) and “Tiger King” (crazy and really bizarre) on Netflix. She was stoked about the third season of “Ozark.”
“My parents will probably put me to work doing stuff in the house to pay my rent,” she said.
She had plans to clean out her closet and donate her old golf clothes. Workouts will continue on with the hope that she comes back with a bit more swing speed.
Knight realizes that she might be a bit too optimistic about the tour returning to action in mid-May for the Pelican Women’s Championship in Belleair, Florida. The Woodlands native is especially eager for the Women’s Open at Champions Golf Club, now slated for early June.
When asked for her thoughts on moving the U.S. Women’s Open to the fall, Knight noted that Houston gets “pretty saturated” during hurricane season.
What about potentially extending the season in 2020?
“December in Houston?” she asked. “That would work.”
Right now, there’s not much left to do but speculate from the couch.