FRANKLIN, Tenn.—Senior Emily Talley added one last “first” for the University of Colorado women’s golf program, earning honorable mention All-America honors from the National Golf Coaches Association at the conclusion of the 2012 NCAA Championships here Saturday. Talley becomes the first women’s golf All-American in CU history.
"It's an amazing honor, one that I was dreaming about achieving throughout college and I'm truly ecstatic," Talley said. "It's even more special that I am the first CU golfer that has been awarded it and this is the best thing to end a college career with."
Taken into account are the players ranking in both the Golfstat and Golfweek individual rankings list and the player’s performance against the top 65 players throughout the season, among other factors. Entering the championships, Talley was ranked No. 47 in Golfweek and No. 44 in Golfstat.
Talley led the way for the Buffs at the NCAA Championships, carding a 9-over par 71-76-76-74—297 scorecard. At the conclusion of the championships, she talked with an NCAA.com reporter about her time at CU:
ON HER CAREER AT CU
“It’s a good feeling knowing that I’m going to leave but they won’t fall flat on their faces, they have great girls playing who will be here for a couple years and some great girls coming in next year. It was special being part of a team that was able to change, that was about to get better and that’s exactly what I wanted out of a college career. I wanted to go somewhere I could make a difference and I feel like I did make a difference and it was very special four years.”
ON THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF GETTING TO NATIONALS FOR THE FIRST TIME
“Honestly how we got here, I feel like the Regional was our National this year. It was on our home course, we had so many spectators, so many fans, people who had supported us for four years were out there. We struggled the first two days but the final day we really pulled it together and honestly that was the most special round of golf. The fact we got to national’s, something this program had never done before, is something of an accomplishment. Coming in here, you want to do well. I was pleased with my first round, but the last couple of rounds weren’t so great, but it’s kind of just this is a tough course and a fantastic field, and it was enough of an awesome experience that way.
ON IF CU CAN SUSTAIN ITS SUCCESS
“There are challenges to every program, but now that CU is in the Pac-12, we’re more than capable of being up there with the best of them. Honestly our weather isn’t really that bad at all. We’re traveling during the months that the weather may be a little iffy at home, so it doesn’t really affect us. Now they have a great practice facility to use.”
ON HER FUTURE TURNING PROFESSIONAL
“I’m going to give it a shot, I love the game, I still have so much fun with it. The day that it’s not fun anymore, and maybe I’m not as successful, I think those go hand-in-hand, is the day that I’ll probably hang up the clubs. I don’t see that any time soon, I’m going to give myself a couple of years, it would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I would regret it if I didn’t try. So here I go to the real world. I’ll be surrounded with all these same girls. I’ve made some great friends through college golf, from all the different teams, most of them are probably trying to go pro, so we’ll have some camaraderie out there.”
Talley has a trip to Europe planned and then has been selected to the 2012 NCAA Collegiate All Star Golf Team and will tour Asia this summer with that team. After that she plans to try and qualify for the United States Amateur Championship before turning pro later in the summer, potentially at the Canadian Open. She will then head to the Q-School to try and earn her card for the Symertra Tour, formerly known as the Futures Tour.
The Buffs also lose senior Jess Wallace, who in just two seasons also left an incredible mark on the program. Wallace plans on turning professional immediately and will make her debut in next week’s HealthONE Colorado Women’s Open, which will take place May 30-June 1 at the Green Valley Ranch Golf Club. Wallace is one of four players making their pro debut at the Open. She will then play in a U.S. Open Qualifier before returning to Boulder to finish her degree this summer.
Wallace also sat down and talked about her time at CU at the conclusion of the NCAA Championships:
ON PLAYING AT NATIONALS:
“I think it was a great experience for this team and this program and school in general. We know we didn’t play the way we wanted to and we’re disappointed with our play, but it’s also showing that things are going up from here, this is a great team and the girls that are coming back are awesome players so it will be fun to keep my eye on them.”
ON HER TIME AT CU:
“It feels awesome, I didn’t expect some of the things to happen while I was here, and it turned out to be better than I had hoped. I think it’s something we will all remember for the rest of our lives. It’s really cool, when I came, I didn’t know who the twins were at all, they’re great golfers, they’ll be awesome upperclassmen for the team and helping out the freshmen who will be here next year. We didn’t know Alex was coming in a year after we did, and everything came together at the right time.”
Sophomore Jenny Coleman also earned NGCA All-West Region honors for finishing in the top 10 at the West Region. Coleman finished tied for 10th on the strength of her final round 3-under par 69. For the three rounds, she was 2-over par 218 and led the Buffaloes.
In an apparent flaw in the Golfstat rankings, sophomore Alex Stewart, who was ranked No. 41 in Golfstat and No. 36 in Golfweek, was not honored. When she withdrew from the second round of the NCAA West Regional due to illness, the Golfstat system gave her a loss against the field, even though she came back and shot a 1-under par 71 in the final round to help the Buffs advance.
Stewart will also be busy this summer and first on the docket is a U.S. Open Qualifier tournament she plans to play in on June 3.