Caldwell County's Emma Talley finished strong and won the U.S. Women's Amateur Golf Championship today in Charleston, South Carolina. The University of Alabama sophomore-to-be defeated Orlando's Cindy Feng 2-and-1 to win her first national amateur singles title.
Like she did in Saturday's semifinal win over Alison Lee, Talley got the early lead and stayed ahead of Feng for most of the match. Talley had a one shot lead after 18 holes depite shooting 3-over par. She shot even par on the final 17 holes to claim the win.
With the win, Talley qualifies for the 2014 U.S. Women's Open at Pinehurst, North Carolina. She made the cut at the 2012 Open, which made her an automatic qualifier for the 2013 Amateur Open. Talley also receives a 10-year exemption into the U.S. Women's Amateur and a 15-year exemption into the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur for golfers over 25 years of age and a 2014 exemption into the Women's Amateur Public Links Championship.
Talley also now has a good chance to make the Curtis Cup, a biennial event that pits the best amateur golfers in the United States against golfers from Great Britian and Ireland. The 2014 event will be played in St. Louis.