Emma Talley is the pride of Princeton, Kentucky, which she describes as a four-stoplight town. Still, she will not be offended if not everyone is paying full attention to her this week as she defends her U.S. Women's Amateur championship on Long Island. The PGA Championship will be going on in Louisville, about a three-hour drive from Princeton.
"I don't know anybody who doesn't have a ticket [to the PGA]," she said, before heading to Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove. She added that she has yet to play Valhalla Golf Club, site of the PGA. "I have a friend whose father owns it, and I've had an invitation, but I haven't had the time."
Talley has plenty on her plate, playing for the University of Alabama, having made the clinching putt in June for the U.S. in the Curtis Cup (the top women's amateur team event) and enjoying the Cox Trophy she won in the Women's Amateur last August.
Being a national champion is still awe inspiring. "There are so many great players out there. You realize there are girls just as good as you. You just had a good week," she said. Still, five days of grueling match play is tough. It helped that her father, Dan (a non-golfer), was caddying. "He was very calm and we had a blast. We were just walking along the golf course, it didn't even seem like a tournament."
Her victory went over big at home. So many people called, wanting to see the trophy, that she decided to put it on display for several days in Princeton's only bank. She had enormous feedback from the little town, although she said, "One person did tell me, 'You know, it's really five stoplights.' "
The Women's Amateur, like much of American golf, has its deepest roots on Long Island. The inaugural tournament was held here in 1895, at the original Meadow Brook Club (near where the current Meadowbrook Parkway is). Lucy Barnes Brown won with a score of 132 for 18 holes. "Thirteen women went out on a November day," said Peter Quick, co-chairman of this year's event. "They stopped for lunch, and not all of them went back out."
Club fitting addition
Fitness and fitting: That is the motif at a facility in Syosset after a new partnership was announced on Tuesday. The John Ondrush Golf & Fitness Academy, which has expanded in recent years, has brought True Spec Golf under its roof. The latter is a club fitting service that uses technology such as a Trackman Doppler radar launch monitor. "This was the vision for opening the fitness academy," Ondrush said.
Wounded warrior outing
Pine Ridge Golf Club in Coram will be a site for what is being called the World's Largest Golf Outing a week from Monday to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. Outings at clubs across the country have been set up in an effort to raise $1 million on that day, according to officials of Billy Casper Golf which is organizing it (www.worldslargestgolfouting.com) . . . Cold Spring Country Club will hold a fund raising dinner for members and guests on Aug. 22, also to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.
Fact of the week
New Baseball Hall of Famer Greg Maddux always has been an excellent and resourceful golfer. During his career with the Braves, he and his fellow single-digit handicap pitchers were profiled by Dave Kindred for Golf Digest. In the story, John Smoltz said of Maddux: "Thing is, he'll play like a 9 until he needs to play like a 2."
To mark his induction, Tom Glavine received six dozen Titleists from a friend. Each ball was inscribed with "47," his uniform number with the Braves and Mets, and with this humbling reminder: "Tom Glavine 203 Losses".