Kentuckian Talley advances to U.S. Women's Amateur semis
Emma Talley, a Caldwell County graduate who plays for the University of Alabama, defeated Su-Hyun Oh of Australia 1-up in 19 holes Friday to advance to the semifinals of the U.S. Women's Amateur at Charleston, S.C.
Talley, coming off her freshman season at Alabama, was a second-team Golfweek All-American. After she holed a 4-foot par putt on the 18th hole to keep the match alive, some fans chanted "Roll Tide! Roll Tide!"
"I don't know if they are Alabama fans or SEC fans," Talley said. "There's definitely a connection there.
"This is what you dream for. This kind of atmosphere."
Talley advanced when the 17-year-old Oh, No. 2 in the Women's World Amateur Golf Ranking, missed a 4-foot par putt on the 19th hole — No. 10 on the course.
"I know everything I need to do," Talley said, "So, now when I come out here, I just want to have fun and do my best because I can't do anything else."
Talley all but owned the KHSAA state tournament during her high school career. She won by 10 shots as a senior in 2011. In 2008 she shot a record 134 to win by nine shots, and won by that same margin in 2010.
Talley would have had a four-peat, except that after finishing first by six shots in 2009, she signed an incorrect scorecard, called the error on herself, and was disqualified.
Talley will play 18-year-old Alison Lee of Valencia, Calif. in Saturday's semifinals. Lee beat Katelyn Sepmoree of Tyler, Texas, 4 and 3.
Taiwan's Doris Chen beat Lauren Diaz-Yi 4 and 3 in another quarterfinal, avenging a blowout loss in the Public Links finals. In June in the Public Links, Diaz-Yi, from Thousand Oaks, Calif., routed Chen 10 and 9.
The 20-year-old Chen, a member of Southern California's NCAA championship team, will face 17-year-old Yueer Cindy Feng of Orlando, Fla., on Saturday.
Feng, born in China, beat Annie Park of Levittown, N.Y., 6 and 4. Park won the NCAA individual title this year as a freshman at Southern California.
Ex-Cat earns first-team All-Arena honors
Former University of Kentucky offensive lineman Christian Johnson was named to the Arena Football League's first team for offense. Johnson, in his third year in the league, helped block for Philadelphia Soul fullback Derrick Ross, who also made the first team after scoring 35 touchdowns and becoming the league's all-time leading rusher with 1,773 yards. The Soul have reached the semifinals of the AFL playoffs and will play the Jacksonville Sharks on Saturday night.
■ Florida starting quarterback Jeff Driskel felt just fine following his first practice since an appendectomy. Driskel said Friday he "didn't have any pain, no issues" while returning eight days after emergency surgery. Driskel's improving health was good news for the Gators, who needed something positive after a rash of injuries, some of them season-ending issues. The Gators lost senior receiver/kick returner Andre Debose and freshman linebacker Matt Rolin for the year with torn knee ligaments.
■ Tennessee defensive end Corey Vereen is expected to miss at least five weeks with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee. Vereen, a freshman who enrolled at Tennessee in January, had four sacks in the spring game.
■ Illinois added games against a pair of non-BCS schools for the 2015 and 2017 seasons. The Illini announced they'll host Middle Tennessee State on Sept. 26, 2015, and Western Kentucky on Sept. 16, 2017. Western Kentucky is already on Illinois' 2014 schedule but the teams have never played.
Jockey Gomez cleared to ride at Del Mar
Jockey Garrett Gomez was cleared to resume riding at Del Mar after a recent fine and suspension for missing mounts while being treated for a relapse of alcohol problems. Gomez was allowed by track stewards to exercise two horses on Friday. He is set to ride in three races on Saturday and four on Sunday.
The 41-year-old jockey said he's glad to have his suspension behind him and is ready to restart his career. The stewards allowed him to return after he received medical clearance from a doctor treating him for substance abuse.
Gomez's agent, Tony Matos, said he has booked a mount for Gomez aboard Farraaj in the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 25, a race that the jockey has won four times.
Gomez battled substance abuse and served time in jail in 2003. He returned to riding the following year and in 2007 he won a record 76 stakes races and won the Eclipse Award as the nation's top rider.
■ Notacatbutallama won the $200,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes for 3-year-olds at Saratoga on Friday, beating North Slope by three-quarters of a length. Ridden by John Velazquez and trained by Todd Pletcher, Notacatbutallama ran 11⁄8 miles over the sloppy track in 1:52.29 and earned $120,000 for owner Mike Repole.
Lexington 16U squad wins championship
The Elite Baseball Club 16-and-under team of Lexington won the Elite Baseball World Series in South Bend, Ind., on July 25.
Lexington defeated the Michiana Scrappers 6-5 in the title game. Henry Clay's Cameron Lord singled in the bottom of the eighth inning to score Madison Central's Jeremy Lakes with the winning run.
The Elite team finished 6-1 in the World Series, receiving strong pitching performances from Lakes, Chase Caldwell (West Jessamine), Aaron McGeorge (Henry Clay), and Austyn Goodwin (Bryan Station).
Offensive standouts included Joseph Hampton (Model), who led all hitters with a .467 average and eight RBI, and Brandon Lord (Henry Clay), who hit .375 with seven RBI. D'Markeo Taylor (Bryan Station) hit .375 and scored six runs. Colin Gatz (Tates Creek) batted .462 and Nick Kavanaugh (Madison Central) .381 for the tournament.
The Elite were coached by Alex Shapiro, Jason Wade and Justin Miley.
Cats' Billings on SEC's pre-season team
Kentucky's Whitney Billings, a second-team All-American last season, was named to the pre-season All-Southeastern Conference team. The senior, a post-season all-SEC pick last season, had a team-high 365 kills and was second on the Cats with 335 digs.
■ The Philadelphia 76ers reportedly offered Brett Brown their long-vacant coaching job. Brown, an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs, was in final discussions Friday night with Philadelphia regarding terms and finances, according to Yahoo! Sports. The Sixers have been searching for a coach since Doug Collins resigned in April.
■ Bubba Starling had an RBI double and a two-run home run in the Lexington Legends' 5-2 victory against Hagerstown on Friday night at Whitaker Bank Ballpark. Legends stater Crawford Simmons (2-3) pitched six innings and gave up one earned run.
The last word
Golfer Adam Scott, the Masters champion, headed into the weekend at the PGA Championship at 7 under, two strokes behind leader Jason Dufner. Scott said after a 68 on Friday:
"I was hungry before the Masters, and I might even have a bigger appetite after it. It might be greedy, but I feel like this is my time to get everything I want out of my career, and I'm going to keep pushing until I do. My game is in great shape. I've got to take advantage of it. Otherwise, it's all a waste."