“I'm just proud of myself for putting myself in this situation.”
Though disappointed in the eventual result, Emma Talley had nothing to be ashamed of in her performance at the 2021 ISPS Handa World Invitational presented by AVIV Clinics. The American, who had held part of the 36- and 54-hole co-leads last year, found herself in the first playoff of her Tour career with Pajaree Anannarukarn by Sunday’s end. After failing to make par on the second playoff hole, the par-5 18th, Talley finished the week with a new career-best runner-up showing. She said the sting of the playoff definitely sat with her for a bit, but the experience and result helped Talley retain her LPGA Tour card for this season. And even with memories of last year ever reminiscent, her return to Galgorm Castle is one of joy.
“I am staying at the same place I did last year. I got to know the workers and the staff there, and I didn't know if they would recognize me, and yesterday when I walked in they were like, She's back. So that was kind of cool, like to just see everyone there,” said Talley, whose season-best finish is a tie for ninth at the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play. “The golf course looks incredible. Weather is a lot better this year. Very excited to be back. Hopefully treats me well.”
Talley enters Northern Ireland with a little difference in preparation. Because of a flight delay, she said she’s had to knock off some valuable prep time in a week with at least one run at two difference courses. Though she’s coming off five frustrating missed cuts in the last six events, including one last week at the AIG Women’s Open, Talley is hopefully the confidence she gained from 2021’s event carries through this week.
“Golf is so a game of inches, you know, and I think any week anybody can win,” said Talley. “I said, my game feels really good at the moment, so you just got to be confident and go out there and have fun and trust in all the practice that you've done all year and every week.
“Sometimes you forget about that. I think we just got to have faith in ourselves and faith in our practice and process, and the rest will take care of itself.”