Emma Talley’s quest for a fourth consecutive AJGA victory was derailed this week thanks to a much more coveted invitation – one to next week’s U.S. Women’s Open at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Talley, 17, had flown to Sunriver, Ore., for this week’s AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions, one of the most elite junior events of the summer. Leading up to the week, she had won the past three AJGA events (Junior at the Quad Cities, Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Partners Junior and Franklin Junior), which tied the record for most consecutive wins in the girls’ division. She has nine career AJGA titles.
In other words this was an important tournament – especially considering the Alabama commit has yet to win an AJGA Invitational – until the call came from a USGA official, who advised Talley that she had received a spot in the Open after qualifying as an alternate out of the sectional held May 23 in Wilmette, Ill.
Granted, the Tournament of Champions and the Rolex don’t overlap, but had Talley decided to tee it up in Oregon then head south to Colorado Springs, she would have been logging five consecutive weeks of tournament play spanning Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee before Oregon and Colorado. Instead, she decided to fly home to Princeton, Ky., for some rest and relaxation, and a chance to catch up with swing coach Todd Trimble for a pre-Open tune-up.
“I just figured I needed to get back and have a lesson so I want to prepare for this the best I could,” Talley said. “If I wasn’t as tired as I am, I would have definitely done that.”
Talley still has plenty of time to round out her junior career, but it doesn’t mean she is any less disappointed to pull out of the Tournament of Champions.
“In a way, I’m upset about it but at the same time I can’t be upset about it because it’s the U.S. Open,” she said. “I may make it again, I may not. Hopefully I will make it a lot in the future but you never know.”