Junior blog: Back from Scotland, back to real life
I have been sooo busy with life! The Junior Ryder Cup was absolutely amazing, and I have no idea how to even explain how much fun it was. My teammates and I had an amazing time and we all felt like family by the time we left. We got there on a Wednesday, and with the time change we got there in the morning (which was like 4 o’clock in the morning my time). We practiced for four days on the cold, beautiful Gleneagles course in Scotland, and let me just tell y’all: It was an unbelievable experience.
The night before we played I got butterflies when two of our teammates that had played in the last Junior Ryder Cup told us what to expect. Jordan Spieth and Anthony Paolucci told us about their experience the last time, and I had not thought about it until then – that we weren’t just from Kentucky, California, Hawaii, Florida, etc.; we were representing the United States of America! It was a total blessing just to be there, and I have never played as well as I did on Monday and Tuesday.
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 six AJGA victories. She holds both the AJGA's 54-hole scoring record for girls (15-under 198) and the record for largest margin of victory (22 shots).
As I got up on Monday, I could feel my excitement about the day. I knew in the morning that I was getting to play two of their really good players. Cassy Isagawa and I suited up and beat Kelly Tidy and Amy Boulden, 3 and 2! I played really well and couldn’t have been more excited to get to team up with my fellow Kentucky teammate for the mixed four-ball that afternoon. Justin Thomas and I both played incredible and beat Moritz Lampert and Kelly Tidy, 4 and 3. After the first day the United States was up, 9-3
As I sat in my room that night, I realized all the fun I had that day, including the tattoos on my face, the thousands of kids that came out to watch us, all the autographs we signed, feeling the team chemistry, and lastly representing our country. On Tuesday, the whole team knew we only need 12 1/2 points to retain the title, but every single one of us wanted to win our match. I was the first girl to go off that morningm, and with the adrenaline I had, I was 4 up at one time but then at the end, my game kind of got off-key. My match ended up halved, but the USA won 13 1/2-10 1/2. I thought the experience was going to end there, but that is only half the story.
On Wednesday, the USA team and the Europe team traveled to Wales for the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor. Thursday, the teams consisted of two Americans plus two Europeans to represent a golf course in the area. This also was an amazing experience because there were about 45,000 people watching the pros ahead of us. However, a lot of them fell back to watch us play, too, and I don’t know about the rest of my team, but I felt like a pro out there and that just makes me want to turn pro even more.
Almost every single night we got to eat with the European team and many guests! We got to know them really well and it was so much fun. We also got a taste of the food they eat over there. It wasn’t my favorite, but it was different and by the end I didn’t care how it tasted – it was pretty good! The USA captain, M.G. Orender, was amazing and we all felt really close to him by the end. All the award ceremonies were a blessing to be a part of, and it really was something that I can’t explain in words. The plane rides as a team was so much fun and filled with excitement. I can’t tell you everything that happened, but I can say this: It was a wonderful time and I will treasure all the memories that I made. I made many new friends that I will have for a lifetime and I learned so much about a different country that I will never forget. It was an honor to get to spend a week with all the tremendous people that made up the U.S. team. I hope and pray I will get another opportunity like that in the future.
Back to golf: Some of the team left Friday. We packed up and headed for the airport, and with a little trouble in traffic, and we missed our flight! However, the four of us players that were stuck in London had a good time together. My parents were there and Ginger Howard’s dad was there but Alison Lee and Jordan Spieth’s parents weren’t. My parents and Mr. Howard kind of took them in as their children and we all got home safely. My parents and I, plus Jordan and Alison, were on the same flight coming home to Charlotte, N.C. We had a good time together and we all got home Saturday night.
Now for my life…since I was eligible to get my license the day I left for the Junior Ryder Cup but obviously couldn’t go get it, I am supposed to get it on Oct. 13. I don’t feel very good about it and I am very nervous, probably more nervous than I get on the course. Also I have missed a total of 11 days of school in a row, so my fall break started on Wednesday and I am trying to catch up on homework.
Another huge decision: I am trying to break down where I am going to college, which is very stressful but fun. I love a lot of the places I have visited, but am not sure where I would be happiest because I am the type of person that loves everything! This is a problem but I am going to make a list of the things that are high on my list that a college needs. I am going to write down all of my options and then try and cancel and make my top list pretty soon. I am going to pray about it and pick the school I want to go to. (But I don’t know when that will be.) Lastly, I am getting to catch up with my friends and my church family. I love people and missed everyone while I was gone. It was a great experience, but I couldn’t wait to be home in my own bed and get to eat my kind of food! I felt very honored to represent the U.S. in Scotland, and it was like nothing I had ever experienced before. It was a very humbling experience.
Love y’all! Have a great week and I will let you know how everything goes! Peace.