Emma Talley was still feeling "pain and disappointment" this week after calling a scorecard error on herself that disqualified her from winning a second consecutive state golf title at Bowling Green Country Club last Sunday.
"But I know I did the right thing," the Caldwell County sophomore said in a telephone interview. "The name of the game is to be honest.
"Some people might not have done it. But how can you sleep at night knowing you did something that's not God's will for you to do?"
Talley appeared to have easily won the state title after she signed for a 72 on Sunday to go with a first-round 71. Her 1-under total was six shots better than runner-up Lindsay Gahm of Sacred Heart.
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Talley's score had been posted for almost 45 minutes when her father, Dan, asked her if she was sure she had shot a 72. Talley went back over her round and realized she had bogeyed the 18th hole.
"My heart sank," she said.
Playing partner Lydia Gumm, who kept Talley's score, had given her a par. Talley also thought she had a par.
She said she checked her scorecard three times immediately after the round, but "I was so excited and in the moment of winning again, I didn't realize the mistake.
"If I had taken a little longer and been a little calmer, I would've caught it."
After Gahm was presented the winner's trophy, she tried to give it to Talley.
"I know Lindsay didn't want to win the way she did, but I couldn't take the trophy," Talley said. "She's a great golfer and a great person, and she deserved it.
"I'm just glad I figured it all out before I got home. I would've hated to realize a couple weeks later that I hadn't really won."
Talley regrets her mistake, "but I've got to turn this into a positive, a lesson learned, and move on with my life.
"I know I did the right thing, and it's kind of neat to know that golf is the only sport where you have a chance to do something like this."