Woods' niece to play in Canberra

She bears a striking resemblance, but Cheyenne Woods can't compare to Uncle Tiger when it comes to appearance fees.

While Tiger Woods was lured to Australia for a reported $1.5 million appearance fee in 2009, his 22-year-old niece is coming to Canberra next month for the Australian Open to try to prove she's the ''real deal''.

Intrigued by her name, and that she won a second-tier tournament in her rookie professional year, Australian Open organisers invited Cheyenne to contest the Open, to be held at Royal Canberra Golf Club from February 14-17.

World No. 1 Yani Tseng, world No.3 Stacy Lewis and defending Australian Open champion Jessica Korda - daughter of former Australian Open tennis champion Petr Korda - also confirmed on Tuesday they would be coming to Canberra.

But Woods, daughter of Tiger's older brother Earl Woods jnr, was the first player to accept Golf Australia's invitation to play the Open, which is an LPGA Tour event.

Woods only turned professional in 2012 and claimed her first professional win on the SunCoast Ladies Series in the United States in August.


Tournament director Trevor Herden said Woods had not been paid an appearance fee, but was simply coming to Australia for the opportunity to take the next step in her career.

''No one probably in Australia has seen how she plays, and this will be the first chance to see how good she is,'' Herden said. ''She's obviously got great potential and … winning her first event so soon after turning professional is going to be a great, great asset for her.''

While Woods is known to go to Tiger for advice, there has been no word on whether the 14-time major winner will make the trip to Canberra to support his niece.

Woods, Tseng, Korda and Lewis add to the quality field, which also includes former world No. 1 Karrie Webb.

Tseng, 23, is an emerging superstar of women's golf and is the youngest player to win five major championships. ''I'm really excited about returning to Australia,'' she said.

''I've made a lot of good friends at this championship and in Australia and I'm looking forward to playing for my third Australian Open title.''

Lewis, 27, had her most successful year on tour, winning the Player of the Year award after her four victories. She was the first American player to win the Player of the Year award in more than 15 years.

Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt said he was looking forward to welcoming the world's best to Canberra. ''Yani and Stacy won seven titles between them in a dominant year on the LPGA Tour and their form bodes well for the start of the new season,'' he said.