Junior diary: Excitement in Kentucky
Oh, my goodness - what a week! I had a wonderful week, with a crazy ending. I headed to Ashland, Ky., for the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior, and it felt like it took forever to get there. We got into Ashland on Monday evening. Tuesday morning, I got to sleep in a little bit and get ready for another exciting Junior-Am. Let me just tell you, I had so much fun with my playing partners! I played with the same four men that I played with last year. We didn’t play very well last year, but this year we shot low and ended up tying for first place! Therefore, the AJGA decided to go into a scorecard playoff and unfortunately we got second place, but if it had been up to me, of course we would have gotten first! I learned a lot about my game plan that day, as well. I decided my driver was coming out of my bag twice a day, every single day!
Emma Talley, 16, will file a diary each week this summer as she plays some of the premier junior events in the country.
Talley is a two-time Rolex Junior All-American and has four AJGA victories. In addition to her three wins in 2009, she posted a pair of runner-up finishes and advanced to the quarterfinals at the Polo Golf Junior Classic. She first broke 70 at the age of 11.
My tee time Wednesday was around noon, so once again I got to sleep in and get ready for a big day. However, when my group got to our last hole, we heard the annoying horn sound that stopped play for lightning. The good thing was, it didn’t last long, and we were back on the course ready to finish in about 30 minutes. I ended up making birdie on my last hole to finish at 1-under 69. Thursday, my tee time was in the morning and I didn’t play as well as I wanted, but fortunately we got finished right as they blew the horn again for lightning. I shot 73, which put me up by three going into the last day of the tournament. That night I thought about what happened to me the year before: I gave up my lead on the last day. However, when I thought about it, it made me realize how much I wanted to win after being there for three years, plus it’s my home state. Therefore, as I teed off the next day, I was very focused. My stats didn’t look very good, but unlike the first two days when my putting saved my game, the last day I could hardly make a putt. But I hit all the fairways, had 33 putts, and hit 16 greens. I shot 69 and won by eight shots.
Now for the exciting news of all the fun and adventure I went through. First of all, I always have an amazing time at the NRP Bluegrass Junior because everyone treats you so well and there are so many social activities! They had a Great Golf Ball race one night that was a lot of fun, but my team didn’t win. I played basketball every day with a few of my friends from Kentucky. Let me tell you, it made me mad when my friend Parker beat me a few times at HORSE, but I’m going to work on my game for next time! One night, my two friends and I, Kylie and Hannah from Kentucky, went to the bowling alley with all the AJGA people. We weren’t very good at bowling but we had a good time. I also played cards most of the nights and stayed around the course until the last person left to have putting contests and such.
I praise God for the rest of the story. My dad came to watch the last two rounds of the tournament so we had two cars. Anyway, when we were on our way home, my mom and I saw a car on the side of the road, so of course my mom gets in the left lane. However, when we reached the car, we both realized it was my dad. As we were pulling over, we saw that his windshield was shattered and dented, and of course we start panicking. When my dad got out of the car he was perfectly fine and explained to us that a wild turkey had run into his windshield. As we were trying to figure out what to do, my dad remembered that we were less than a mile from the Bardstown exit, which is where my dad’s best friend Tom lives. So my mom and I followed my dad, with his shattered windshield, to his best friend’s house and stopped. Thank goodness my dad was OK and we were so lucky to be that close to someone that we knew could help. My dad hopped in the shower at Tom’s house and then he got in the car with us and we headed home safely!
My next tournament is the Rolex Tournament of Champions and it is at a course that I played last year. It is extremely hard, but fun. Hopefully I will do ok, but we will see! Wish me luck everyone and I will hopefully bring home the win. Wouldn’t that be cool. I will at least have a lot of tales to tell!