Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

After Wait, Tide Rolls in Talley's Favor

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

After Wait, Tide Rolls in Talley's Favor

Article excerpt

FINAL ROUND: She wins Alabama's first individual national golf title

BRADENTON

Aside from an exquisite final round of golf, Emma Talley spent Memorial Day playing the waiting game.

Twice.

The Alabama junior first had to wait out a 52-minute lightning delay, the fourth weather-related stoppage in as many days at the NCAA Women's Division I Golf Championships hosted by The Concession Golf Club.

Then she had to see if the 69 she carded Monday, leaving her at three-under (285) for the tournament, was enough to win the Crimson Tide's first individual national golf title. Sitting on a white folding chair underneath a large tent, with a flat-screen television a few feet from her face and teammates on each side, Talley cheerfully discovered that it was, as the Kentucky native finished a stroke ahead Arkansas' Gaby Lopez and Duke's Leona Maguire to win the national championship.

"It's a dream come true," Talley said.

Talley was about to take her final shot of the round earlier in the day before the lightning hit, sending her and the rest of the field off the course.

She came back and calmly drained a five-foot putt for birdie, though her cool appearance was a tad deceiving.

"I can't even tell you how hard that was," Talley said. "Having to come in the clubhouse and go back out and make it ... I was relieved in the clubhouse, then I came back out and all the nerves hit me again."

Her nerves would be tested yet again underneath the tent, watching The Golf Channel's live coverage and wondering if Lopez or Maguire would catch her.

"I know how my parents feel now for sure. That was so hard," Talley said. "I was sick, I really was. I was like, 'They may see me puke.'"

Thankfully, that didn't happen. Instead, Talley walked around the tent dishing out and receiving hugs before posing for pictures, doing so on a course she grew to love -- even though some of her peers disagreed.

"I told them after the first day that I thought I was on vacation and I love the course," said Talley, who also has a Women's Amateur title to her credit. …

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