Emma Talley won the Island Resort Championship on Sunday for her first Symetra Tour title when rain washed out the final round.
The 23-year-old former Caldwell County High School and University of Alabama star shot a 3-under 69 on Sunday morning in the completion of the suspended second round to reach 9-under 135.
“This is awesome,” Talley said of winning on the LPGA’s developmental tour. “It’s definitely a dream come true. It feels like all the work has finally been clicking and I’m really excited for the win.”
China’s Ruixin Liu and Thailand’s Benyapa Niphatsophon tied for second at 6 under.
Talley earned $22,500 to jump from 14th to fourth on the money list with $43,618. The top 10 at the end of the season will earn LPGA Tour cards.
Talley won the 2013 U.S Women’s Amateur and the 2015 NCAA individual title. She was Kentucky’s state girls’ champion in 2008, 2010 and 2011.
According to a report on the Symetra Tour’s website, Talley wasn’t even supposed to play in the event.
“Talley’s mother has been battling health issues recently, including finding out she had cancer just a month ago,” the report said. “It was a Tuesday when Jennifer Talley, who is already a breast cancer survivor, discovered she had ovarian cancer and she underwent surgery on that Friday. Three weeks later (this past week) Jennifer got the news that she was again cancer-free. With a pre-scheduled hip operation this week for Jennifer, Emma was planning to stay at home in Princeton, Kentucky, to keep her mom company, but Talley felt a draw to make the trip to Harris this week.
“‘I have been playing really well the last two weeks,’ Talley said, ‘I told my mom ‘I really feel like I need to play this week.’”
Talley FaceTimed her parents after the victory. It was her third straight top-10 finish and her sixth top-10 finish of the season.
The Island Resort Championship marks the midway point in the Symetra Tour season. Talley said this win gives her a boost to finish out the season strong.
“I’ve been kind of struggling this year, and then finally started playing well a couple weeks ago, and now I finally got the win,” she said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what the season holds.”