DALLAS, Texas — Sunday was a career day for a Kentucky native now playing on the LPGA Tour.
Emma Talley, who grew up in Princeton, Ky., and was a three-time Kentucky high school state champion, finished in a fourth-place tie at Old American Golf Club in the Volunteers of America Classic final round. The University of Alabama product fired a bogey-free, 8-under par 63.
The performance was a career-low score for the four-year LPGA Tour professional. It also matched the 18-hole tournament scoring record, a feat accomplished by tournament winner Jin Young Ko in the first round on Thursday. By all calculations, Talley is back to a level that meets her expectations.
“I think I was just on a mission,” said Talley, who recorded five birdies over her final six holes. “I got in the groove with my putter and was hitting good shots. For me personally, the last shot into 18 was huge for me. I told my caddie (Brandon Winton) walking up to the 18th green, ‘That right there means so much to me,’ because I have been struggling for really the past six months. I feel like I’m back to being myself a bit.”
Talley is now off to the Marathon LPGA Classic presented by Dana in Toledo, Ohio, where Talley last secured a top-10 finish (T5).
“That tournament the last three years has treated me really well,” said Talley, who hit 16 greens in the final round. “I’m excited to get to Toledo. I’m going home to Nashville to sleep in my own bed before I go and hopefully I can keep the mojo going.
“I need to start writing down some things I did this week, my mentality and just how I kind of played my game the whole way through and never had wandering eyes. That was really important for me.”
Talley made a dramatic move on Sunday, rising from a tie for 23rd to a tie for fourth. She finished at 12-under par. Her score of 63 beats her previous tour best by two shots. She shot 65 three times before, including on Thursday in the tournament’s first round.