American Cheyenne Knight isn’t very familiar with Evian Resort Golf Club, but it didn’t show on Thursday at the Amundi Evian Championship. The 25-year-old Texan carded a 6-under 65 on day one in Evian-les-Bains to sit two back of the lead, recording eight birdies and two bogeys en route to a new career-low round. This is only her second start in the major championship – she finished T50 last year after a snafu with lost luggage – and Knight is looking to improve upon her 2021 showing, a goal she’s well on her way to accomplishing after a hot start that saw her make four birdies in her first five holes.
“Last year I didn’t even get my clubs until Wednesday night, so I only had one practice round like ever here,” said Knight, who is No. 135 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. “You don’t have any flat lies. A lot of ball above or below your feet so you can always aim a certain way. But I feel like hitting shots and controlling the club face off those fairway shots are important. It’s a course that fits my eye. I have my caddy who has been out here for 20-plus years, so he knows the course really well. That’s helped.”
Knight hasn’t won on the LPGA Tour since the 2019 Volunteers of America Classic and admits that the 2021 season was a struggle she had to recover from. Last year saw her miss 15 cuts in 27 starts and card one top-10 finish, a tie for fifth at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions. So far this season, Knight seems to have figured things out, making 11 cuts in 13 starts and notching a top-10 finish, a tie for fourth at last week’s Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational. It’s not a major swing change or equipment tweak that’s made a difference but rather a new thought process that’s propelling her along, one that seems to be working well thus far at the year’s fourth major.
“Last year was a really hard year for me. I just didn’t really love it and I was kind of burnt out I felt like,” said Knight. “I’ve been working on my swing, and my motto this year is focus on my craft. So I’ve really been doing that, and like it’s so cliche, but process over result is something I’ve really tried to do a lot more of this year. I’m working on the right things and just keep trying to perfect my craft, play Cheyenne Knight golf. I’ve gotten back to that and I’ve just like enjoyed myself a lot more on the golf course.”