“Emma is playing really well,” Alabama Coach Mic Potter said. “She has great control of her golf ball. She flights it well and she hits it straight. She doesn’t play any shots out of fear. She has really worked hard on her putting the last few weeks, and she is holing out better from six feet, which has helped her a lot. She knows where to put in on the green, and she has a plan and more importantly, she can execute it.”
As a team, Alabama is 63-over 927 after the 22-over 310 third round total Sunday. They are in 15th place and one shot ahead of UCLA for the last spot in Monday’s final 18 holes of stroke play (teams 16-24 cut from field). With play suspended due to darkness, UCLA must finish its final five holes Monday morning to determine who advances. The top nine individuals on non-advancing teams also qualify for the final 18 holes Monday.
Starting on the back nine, Talley shot even par and made the turn with a two-shot lead over the field. She strung together back-to-back birdies on the par-4 second and the par-5 third to get back in the red for the third round at 2-under. She would end the round at 1-over with bogeys on the fourth, fifth and seventh holes.
“Today was difficult,” Talley said. “I was up and down all day. I started out pretty well with a 36 (even par) on the back nine, I started on No. 10. I actually got to 2-under at one point but I had a couple mistakes here and there, but I kept them to bogeys. It is a really hard course out there today, especially with the wind. It picked up at the end of the round and made it much harder to judge. The course is really hard and I am pretty happy with my 73.”
A key to Talley’s success so far has been her ability to avoid the big numbers and her play on the par-5s. Through 54 holes, she is the only player in the field that has not mad a double bogey, and she has averaged 4.75 strokes per par-5 (-3). Talley also has the second-most birdies in the field with 11. With golfers still left on the course, Talley has a one-stroke lead over Arizona State’s Monica Vaughn.
Cammie Gray made the turn at 2-over after making birdie on the par-4 18th, and carded her second consecutive 4-over 76. The sophomore from Northport is 18-over 234 for the tournament.
Janie Jackson shot a third round of 8-over 80 and her totals at 27-over 243 for 54 holes. Mia Landegren shot a third-round 9-over 81, and is 31-over 247 for the championship. Freshman Lakareber Abe’s 11-over 83 was the Crimson Tide’s drop score for the third round. For the tournament, she is 23-over 239.