Emma Talley finishes opening round without putter after ‘freak’ accident at KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

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BETHESDA, Md. – Emma Talley often hits her left foot with her putter. Not hard enough to break a toe. Just enough to let out a little steam, coupled with a “Gosh, dang it.”

On Thursday at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, a day that was already tough by any standard on Congressional’s Blue Course, Talley’s got tougher when she struck her foot with the putter after a short missed putt on the sixth hole and damaged her club.

“It was a freak accident,” said Talley, who said the club had probably weakened over time. While Rule 4.1a(2) says that regardless of the nature of what caused the damage, the damaged club can be treated as conforming for the rest of the round, Talley instead pulled out her 58-degree wedge to replace her putter.

KPMG Women’s PGALeaderboard | Photos

The former U.S. Women’s Amateur and NCAA champion played her last four holes in 3 over, finishing at 6-over 78. The tears flowed during and after the round. Talley said she felt both frustrated and embarrassed.

“Obviously you want to shed light when you’re out here,” said Talley. “If they didn’t see what happened, they’d probably think I snapped it over my leg.”

That was far from the case.

In Gee Chun leads after a sensational 8-under 64. On Friday, the field will be cut to top 60 and ties.