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Earl Woods Jr

Earl Woods Jr

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When Cheyenne Woods steps onto the first tee at Locust Hill Country Club in her LPGA debut Thursday, the legacy of her last name will undoubtedly follow, just as it has her entire golf career.That's because Woods doesn't just live in someone's shadow, she carries it."There is the expectation of "Woods,'" the 18-year-old said.

"I've grown up with it.

I'm used to having the title and seeing the headlines read "Tiger Woods' niece.' But I also want to make a name for myself."It explains why her teammates don't hear the soft-spoken freshman even whisper the name of her uncle, even though her facial features, fist pump and golf swing all scream Tiger Woods.It also explains why she, the daughter of Earl Woods Jr., Earl Woods' son from a previous marriage before he wed Tiger's mother, approaches the Wegmans LPGA tournament with the intent of making the cut."She's a very humble person," Wake Forest coach Dianne Dailey said.

Woods just finished her freshman season with the Demon Deacons.

"She does not try to flaunt the name.

She would prefer not to even have her name put out there.

She just wants to be a golfer in her own right, and make her own mark."Thanks to a sponsor exemption, Woods, an amateur, will have a chance to do that, though she will have to compete with more than just the legacy of her last name.The top names in women's golf will descend upon the Wegmans tournament in Pittsford, which includes 95 of the top 100 players on the money list and 41 of the top 50 golfers listed in the world rankings.

The most notable absence is the golfer who is No.1 in the world, Lorena Ochoa, the 2007 Wegmans LPGA champion, who is taking the week off.The field will also include the defending champion Eun-Hee Ji, along with Paula Creamer, Michelle Wie, Cristie Kerr, Brittany Lincicome and Natalie Gulbis.

Despite the competition, Woods remains unshaken.She has been awaiting her invitation to an LPGA event since April 13, 1997, when her desire to make a mark in the sport began with watching Tiger win the Masters by 12 strokes.I want to do that, she decided.

I want to be like him.By the time Cheyenne Woods was 10 years old, the nation was enamored with the idea, too.

Hordes of media surrounded her at tournaments, awaiting her every stroke and step."I never thought of it as a burden," she said.

"I was just a little kid and wanted to see myself on TV.

As I got older, as I'm getting older, it gets harder.

The expectations at high-level tournaments are a little more serious, the competition is more tough."Years later, the world may still be waiting, but Woods doesn't mind."I haven't accomplished as much as he did at my age," she said.

"I'm going at my own pace."Woods finished a solid first season at Wake Forest, where, as the sole freshman on the ACC championship team, she qualified for every tournament of the season.

She is ranked 93rd among women collegiate golfers in the nation.
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