Emma Talley Championship Interivew August 10, 2013 By USGA

Q. How do you feel?

EMMA TALLEY: I'm speechless. This is a dream come true for sure.

Q. This is the first time you've ever said you’re speechless?

EMMA TALLEY: Probably. I'm pretty social so I don’t know – this is a great experience. This place is awesome, and it couldn't have been at a better place. I love being here.

Me and my mom kind of joked around during the week and said, if you get to the finals, you're buying me a new outfit. So sure enough, going out and buying me a new outfit. It was just a great week and it's a dream come true, for sure.

Q. Can you talk about how you played today and how you felt today?

EMMA TALLEY: Well the first, I guess ten holes – me and Cindy were – we were like, wow, I think we are 10 over together after ten holes, and the first part of the day was really rough. And I don't know if it was nerves or adrenaline, or I don't know but we both kicked it in gear at the same time, and from then on it was a match, but it was up and down. She hit great shots and I had a couple good shots.

She's a great player and I think she's going on to Q School. But it just tells you how good of a player she is – the girl I played with the other day (Su-Hyun Oh) – she's the No. 2 player in the world, and that just tells you how good of a week I played, it's definitely been a blessing from God, and it's been a great experience.

Q. How did you stay focused? You had the three up lead, how did you stay focused after that disappeared?

EMMA TALLEY: Yeah, the good thing about that was that she was making the shots. I didn't really do much wrong to lose that lead.

I knew that just because my whole goal going into today was play your game and if you get beat, she deserves to win, but I didn’t want to just play bad. All the while, I knew there was nothing I could do about it and I just had to keep playing my game and I knew it wasn't over at all, because I had made two birdies at the end of the first round – and I knew that it was her turn. It was her turn to make a few birdies.

My dad was right there along the bag with me, and he said it’s time for some tunes. So we started singing again and the cameras came back so we were like alright we’ve got to stop. We’re not very good singers.

It was a great day, and I just had to keep telling myself that there were a lot more holes, and if I played my game, then I think I could come back.

Q. What were you singing?

EMMA TALLEY: Everything today. It has been Cruise by Florida/Georgia line but today we had a lot of songs – so I can't say even tell you what they were.

Q. How big of a factor was --?

EMMA TALLEY: Oh, my gosh, it was like, I told my dad today walking up here, it felt like I was just at home. Because nobody was – this morning before I was warming up, nobody was here, and it was me and the golf course, and that's exactly how it is at home.

Feeling that relaxed and having my dad on the bag with me; it made me feel relaxed and comfortable with the golf course, so when I hit a bad shot, I felt like, I can get up and down, or at least I can try to. It was just very good – it was great to have my dad on the bag.

And for him to be singing – and he's actually a very tense guy—he’s not like me and my mom, for him to be there and act not like him -- he's a doctor and he has a stressful job, but he was great on the bag this week. We always have a lot of fun together. He's a jokester, and when we hang around, we share it with everybody – and I really appreciated it. He was great for me this week.

Q. What did it mean to have Stephanie – you’re going to be roommates next year, she was the National Champion at the British last year  

EMMA TALLEY: Yes, Stephanie is an awesome player and she has done so much over the years and she's a great player. I learned a lot from her, her game this year. Her short game is amazing. I asked her questions and I asked the guys on the team questions; to have a family at Alabama – having Nick here, his wife, and Stephanie, they all went home and they drove all the way back just to see me today. It just means a lot and just shows you how Alabama works and I was really excited to see them on the first tee.

Q. (Inaudible).

EMMA TALLEY: Oh my gosh yes. Stephanie was like – I'm not even artistic, but this shows how much I love you, I'll try – (laughing). It was great.

Q. After putting so well all week, you seemed to struggle in the morning match. Is there a particular reason for that and how did you get that turned around?

EMMA TALLEY: I have no idea what happened. I was just like, what is going on, because it wasn't even like I was missing 10 footers or something. I was 3 putting like crazy. That's just how golf is. They have been falling all week, and I got it back eventually, but I think that after I 3 putted for the fifth time, on the front nine, my dad said, again, I think we need to start singing again, you haven't talked to anybody yet, you’re back being stressed – and I was like, you’re right. I didn't want to tell him he was right, but he was.

We just tried to be calm and collected, and I'm sure Cindy thought the same thing because she wasn't playing very well either. At one time, I said, "Dad, I have 3 putted five times and I'm only 1 down," and that just tells you how bad we were playing in the beginning.

But that happens it’s golf, and I think we were either nervous, or again, the adrenaline rush, I don't really know what it was. But we looked at each other like, this can't go on. This is embarrassing for people to watch.

Q. What went through your mind on 17, when you land your putt, and did you watch Cindy putt? What was going through your mind?

EMMA TALLEY: I could tell, I was like oh I need a putter. Cindy is a great player and I honestly thought she would make the putt. It was pretty long but I didn't even realize that the match was going to end. My dad was like, this is either for win or go one more hole, and I was like, oohh, so this is like, it. And I turned around and watched her putt, and it was just – I can't tell you how I felt. It was amazing. No to see her miss it but to know that I just won the biggest tournament in the world, this is a dream come true.

Q. I guess this is just another title for the SEC; when you get back to campus, is this going to, compared to what the football team does, are people going to notice what you've done? This is a big deal.

EMMA TALLEY: I don't know, they might. Football at Alabama is pretty much the biggest thing there is.

I do know a lot that a lot of my friends at Alabama that are athletes, they have been following me and watching it on TV and keeping up with it on the Internet.

So it’s actually, I have more friends from Alabama than I thought I would, and I can't believe it and I'm so glad that all of the friends at Alabama, they’re a blessing. And it's cool to have other athletes there, because we all want to achieve big dreams. And I think that also helped coming into this tournament, because I’d text my other friends – like I said they’re in a different sport – and I think that helps, because you rub off each other, and it's great to be there.

Q. Your opponents and their aspirations to go pro, do you have those aspirations, or is it just not the right time yet? Do you want to play more college golf?

EMMA TALLEY: I love college. That's basically – I love Alabama. I love everything about it. I was really nervous going into it last year. I'm a really big family person and it's five hours away, and I knew I wouldn’t see my friends very much, and I had a boyfriend at the time. It was a really hard adjustment, but once I got there and fit in with all my friends, it was just a great transition, the team, the coaches, everybody was there for me. I do want to go pro, but right now, I love college too much.

Q. Do you talk to Kenny Perry a lot? He won the Senior Open a couple weeks ago.

EMMA TALLEY: I’m not as close with Kenny, I've met him a few times, but I don't know if he remembers me. I'm really close with his caddie, Freddie Sanders. Freddie has been there the whole time – last year I got to play – for two years I've gotten to play in the U.S. Open, I missed this year, but I've gotten to play in the U.S. Open twice, and Freddie was on the bag with me 2012.

So me and Freddie are from Paducah, and Freddie has taught me a lot about the game. Russ Cochran is from Paducah, and me and Russ are really close. And a long time ago, he helped me out with a bunch of golf – just little twerks and tweaks there. Russ is a great guy, and Kenny and Russ have always been I guess role models I guess to me. I've always liked how they approach themselves and how they approach the game. They are normal people off the course but they are great golfers. I love how they lived in their hometown for a long time – that’s just a real good thing, I think it's awesome.

Q. Interacting with the crowd, has that helped you? It seemed to relax you?

EMMA TALLEY: Yes, I love the fans and the volunteers this is week, it was so fun to be out there. Without them, I don't know if I would’ve have gotten this far, because they were just newsContenting for me, people that were from Georgia were saying Roll Tide and Go Cats. It was just so cool. It was just a great experience.

Q. How has your game changed?

EMMA TALLEY: I used to hit a lot of greens, and people would be like, why don't you shoot like super low all the time. I was like, I can't put or chip, because if I missed the green I could’nt get up and down very often.

My putting was actually pretty good until a few years ago at the U.S. Open, because I got made fun of about my putting stroke, and that kind of stabbed me in the back a little bit –

Q. Who?

EMMA TALLEY: Well, I don’t want to say, but we were – I was just about to putt, but Dottie Pepper from the Golf Channel – which Mic actually coached her, and she actually has helped me more than anybody else, because if she wouldn't have made fun of me, then I wouldn't be sitting here right now, at all. So she's actually helped me out a lot, because my confidence kind of went down after that, and I actually didn't even make the cut last year at the U.S. Women's Am.

So right after the U.S. Open, I made the cut, I started working on my putting, missed the cut at the Am.

Q. What did she say?

EMMA TALLEY: She said – it was a terrible putting stroke.  My feet were like way open, my head was (inaudible) a lot and I came back the complete – (indicating) – I took it like this. I did something that no one else in the world did, and basically she said: 'Wow, what a putting stroke, that is very interesting.'

She didn't say anything wrong. I just, was like, why am I the only person in the world that putts like this. And that was kind of like a big shock to me. I’ve never really noticed it, I'm a country girl and I've never really paid attention to it – so after that, Mic said, lets start working on your putting and it helped this week, for sure.

Q. Have you talked to her?

EMMA TALLEY: No, that was on TV. She helped me without knowing. I was looking back at the tournament and I saw, they’re like look what Dottie Pepper said (laughter). It worked. Shoutout.

THE MODERATOR:  Congratulations, Emma.

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