-- photo amateurgolf.com staff
NAPA, Calif. (July 18, 2012) -- As the blustery winds earlier in the week subsided the scores dropped at the 17th annual California Women's Championship played at the Chardonnay Golf Club. Emily Talley of Napa, a recent graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder, finished the tournament at 2-over-par 218 with rounds of 75, 72 and 71, taking the title by nine strokes.
As a late entry into the event, Talley took advantage of being able to sleep in her own bed as her parents live in nearby Napa. She wasn't planning on playing in the event, but her mom convinced her that since she was going to be home from college she might as well since it was so close to home.
It worked out quite well for Talley, as this will be her last tournament as an amateur. Talley will join the ranks as a professional next month and will attempt to qualify for the LPGA at Q school at LPGA International Golf Course in Daytona Beach, Fla. in September.
Pretty amazing since her dad had to practically bribe her to play golf in her early teen years. She played in her first junior tournaments when she was 13 and soon discovered that she loved winning trophies.
When asked about her final round, Talley said, "I am very consistent and I putted well."
From her scores one can easily see that she was able to avoid the big numbers that plagued the rest of the field. Her worst score for a hole on the three days was bogey and she always balanced that with a few birdies. What was even more amazing is that she wasn't able to get a practice round on the tricky course and hadn't played it since she was a sophomore in high school.
Now Talley will travel back to Colorado, pack up her belongings and move back to California as her lease is up at the end of the month. And she gets to add one more trophy to her collection.
Second place finisher, Hannah Suh finished the day with a disappointing 78 after starting her day only two strokes behind Talley. The 18- year-old from San Jose had a rough start carding 5 bogeys and one birdie on the front nine for a 40, while Talley posted a 2-under-par 34 extending her lead to 8 strokes.
On the back nine Suh had a 38 with bogeys at holes 15 and 16, carding a 78 for the day. Talley gave a few back with bogeys of her own at 12 and 15, but birdied 14 for a 1-over-par 37 on the back and a 1-under 71 for the day. Without much challenge Talley cruised to victory.
As an incoming freshman at Cal Berkeley Suh will have many opportunities to hone her skills and is sure to have a successful college career, just as Talley has done.
Spencer Heller, who will be a senior at Sonoma State University in the fall, finished in third place at 231 (84-72-74.) Heller is coming off an 8th place finish at the NCAA Div II Championship played in Louisville, KY in May.
Courtney Jayne Soekland from Santa Rosa, CA who plays for Cal State Monterey Bay, finished in fourth place with at 233 (83-78-72.)
From the non-collegiate veteran category was four-time California Women's Match Play champion Lynne Cowan of Davis. After a rough start with an 86, Cowan recovered the second round with a 76 moving into a tie for 11th. With a final round 72 Cowan finished the tournament in fifth place.
Cowan was the only returning player in this year's field who represented California in the 2011 U.S. State Team in Savannah, GA last fall. The California Women's Championship is the only tournament used to determine the team for the biennial event put on by the USGA. A points system determines the three player team for the two years of competition in this event.
The California Women's Championship is organized and sponsored by the Pacific Women's Golf Association, the San Diego Women's Golf Association, the Women's Golf Association of Northern California and the Women's Southern California Golf Association.
The tournament rotates annually from the northern to the southern part of the state. The 2013 tournament will be held at Glenn Annie Golf Club in Santa Barbara, Calif.
View results for California Women's State Championship