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‘I’m having the best time of my life.’ Chowchilla freshman golfer shining at U.S. Open

Chowchilla High freshman Asterisk Talley may have one of the better excuses for any teenager not finishing her homework.

The 15-year old is trying to win the 2024 U.S. Women’s Open Golf Championship.

Talley turned in another impressive performance, shooting a one-over par round of 71 on Friday in the second round at Lancaster Country Club in Pennsylvania. This came just one day after shooting an even-par 70 in the first round.

Talley is currently tied for seventh on the leaderboard as of 4 p.m. Andrea Lee and Wichanee Meechai are currently tied at the LPGA’s second major of the year at three-under through 14 holes on Friday. Only four players are under par at the moment.

Talley has become one of the stars of the tournament as the youngest player in the field.

During an interview with NBC Sports on Friday, Talley said she has a lot of homework due today.

“It’s probably not going to get done today,” Talley told NBC Sports. “I feel like I can fluctuate with the due date even though they were like, ‘No exceptions,’ I am going to make them have exceptions.”

Her teachers back home in Chowchilla will likely understand. Most of them have joined the tight-knit community in cheering Tally on this week.

Talley, an amateur, qualified for the U.S. Open after shooting a 5-under-par 137 to earn the second and final spot from the San Joaquin Country Club qualifier in Fresno on May 6.

During Thursday’s first round, Talley shook off a triple bogey and battled back to shoot an even-par round, which was good for fifth place.

On Friday, Talley hit a drive into the water on her fourth hole and was able to save bogey.

“I feel like that was a big booster in the round because if I would have got double on that hole, that might have broke my round,” Talley said. “I feel like that was a big part of it. Then I was just steady pars after that, and then I just played some solid golf.”

Talley’s second round began on hole No. 10 on Friday and she recorded pars on 15 of her 18 holes. She recorded bogies on holes No. 12 and No. 18 and scored her only birdie of the round on hole No. 6.

“I feel like my expectations were to at least make the cut,” Talley said. “That’s what I wanted to do. Then if I achieved that, I wanted to get low amateur. But I feel like that’s still achievable even after today’s round.”

“I feel like I’m doing what I want so far, and I’m really happy with where I am.”

Asterisk Talley plays her second shot on the 14th hole during the second round of the 2024 U.S. Women’s Open Presented by Ally at Lancaster Country Club in Lancaster, Pa. on Friday, May 31, 2024. (Logan Whitton/USGA)
Asterisk Talley plays her second shot on the 14th hole during the second round of the 2024 U.S. Women’s Open Presented by Ally at Lancaster Country Club in Lancaster, Pa. on Friday, May 31, 2024. (Logan Whitton/USGA)

Talley was peppered with questions about being the youngest player out there, if she’s a Taylor Swift fan, and how she’s keeping up with schoolwork.

Talley says she’s not a full-fledged Swiftie but likes her music.

“Kind of,” she said. “I’m like half. I’m not like part of the fandom or anything. Just the music is okay, so yeah.”

Talley says she doesn’t mind the extra media attention.

“Not really,” she said. “I feel like I’m kind of used to it. But at the same time, I haven’t been in one of these. But it’s not that bad.”

Talley will likely find herself in one of the final pairings for Saturday’s third round. Talley says she’s enjoying this experience at her first U.S. Open.

“I’m just trying to have a good time out here,” Talley said. “I want my first Open to be memorable and for it to always be something I can look back on and say I had the time of my life, and I feel like earlier in the week I wasn’t having a lot of fun.”

“Then when I started playing the tournament rounds I had so much fun out here,” Talley added. “I’m having the best time of my life, so I hope that I can look back and just remember this time.”

NBC will televise the third round of the U.S. Open at noon on Saturday.