LOS ANGELES - It’s been four weeks to the day since Emma Talley got engaged to her longtime boyfriend Patrick Smith and the happiness she’s been feeling off the golf course is definitely showing in her on-course play. The University of Alabama alum fired a 4-under 67 to open her week at the DIO Implant LA Open and needed just 26 putts to get the job done on a gusty day one at Wilshire Country Club, a place she feels especially comfortable with as a fade player.
“I putted well today. (The greens are) just tricky,” said Talley who has a 29.09 stroke putting average through nine events. “To putt well in the afternoon, that's great because tomorrow I'll have fresh greens at 7:30 in the morning. I think it sets up really good for a fade which is what I hit. I also have always loved this golf course ever since my rookie year. For some reason, it sets up good for my eye. I'm hitting the ball really well right now, and that goes a long way, especially when it's windy.”
After a tough opening round on Wednesday at last week’s LOTTE Championship, Talley had instructor Todd Trimble fly out for a few hours on Monday to work on her ball-striking ahead of back-to-back weeks in LA, a good decision considering she hit 11 of 14 fairways and 12 of 18 greens on Thursday. With 54 holes left to play, Emma is feeling pretty good about where she’s at with her game and is looking forward to seeing her hard work continue to pay off.
“I’ve been playing really well. I worked really hard in the off-season with all my coaches, my trainers, my mental coach. I could go on and on. There is a big team around me. We have been working very hard and I feel confident. There is a lot of golf to be played, but at least I know I feel good about my game. I'm excited for the next three days.”