By Randall Mell, Golf Channel

KOHLER, Wis. – Cheyenne Woods will tee it up at Blackwolf Run this week after qualifying for the first time to play in the U.S. Women’s Open.

Woods, niece to Tiger Woods, shares more than a name and a strikingly similar smile with her famous uncle. She shares early tutoring stories. Earl Woods, Tiger’s father, Cheyenne’s grandfather, also got Cheyenne started. She was 2 when she first picked up a golf club in her grandfather’s garage, the same garage where Tiger got his start.

Asked what she got most from Earl Woods, Cheyenne said: “Confidence. He really believed in me and really supported me.”

Cheyenne, 21, says Tiger also inspired her.

“Watching Tiger play as I grew up, I knew I wanted to get out there one day,” Cheyenne said.

Cheyenne, who just graduated from Wake Forest, was 2 years old the first time she watched Tiger play. He was playing the L.A. Open as an amateur on a sponsor’s invite.

“I don’t remember it, but I was there in a stroller,” she said.

Cheyenne turned pro last month before the Wegmans LPGA Championship, where she played on a sponsor’s invite. She shot 75-79 on a tough setup at Locust Hill but called her first professional experience valuable in what she learned. She says Tiger has been extremely supportive.

Asked about inevitable comparisons with Tiger, Cheyenne said: "I've always said, I'm on my own path. Not everybody can be Tiger Woods."

"Woods ready for U.S. Women's Open," by Randall Mell appears courtesy of Golf Channel.

Further Reading at GolfChannel.com
Pak's influence on game immeasurable
Woods looks to stay hot at Greenbrier
Tseng can complete career grand slam at U.S. Women's Open

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  • Cheyenne Woods

    Cheyenne Woods hits out of a bunker on the 12th hole during a practice round for the U.S. Women's Open golf tournament, Wednesday, July 4, 2012, in Kohler, Wis.

  • Cheyenne Woods

    Cheyenne Woods chips onto the 12th green during a practice round for the U.S. Women's Open golf tournament, Wednesday, July 4, 2012, in Kohler, Wis.

  • Cheyenne Woods

    In this June 26, 2009 file photo, Cheyenne Woods watches her tee shot on the fourth hole during the second round of the LPGA Wegmans golf tournament at Locust Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y.

  • Cheyenne Woods

    This June 25, 2009 file photo shows Cheyenne Woods watching her ball from the eighth tee during the first round of the 2009 Wegmans LPGA golf tournament, in Rochester, N.Y.