Emma Talley, feeling at home in Northern Ireland, leads ISPS Handa World Invitational; Daniel Hillier tops men's field

Emma Talley and Daniel Hillier took the halfway lead at the tri-sanctioned event in Northern Ireland.

Emma Talley, feeling at home in Northern Ireland, leads ISPS Handa World Invitational; Daniel Hillier tops men's field

For Emma Talley, Galgorm Castle in Galgorm, Northern Ireland, is a long way from her hometown of Paducah, Kentucky. But Talley is taking to venue quite well, having worked her way to the top of the leaderboard halfway through the ISPS Handa World Invitational, a unique event co-sanctioned by the LPGA, Ladies European Tour and European Tour.

“I love playing over here in general,” Talley said. “I think it’s really calming. The people are really – it’s a very simple way of living. The golf courses are awesome. Yeah, it can get windy and cold and rainy. We got some wind and rain today, but I love playing golf over here, always have. Hopefully it treats me well the next couple weeks.”

Talley opened with 67 at Galgorm Castle and when she backed it up with 65 on Friday, she took a three-shot lead over Chella Choi and fellow American Jennifer Kupcho, who are both at 10 under.

Englishwoman Charley Hull and Scottishwoman Gemma Dryburgh are close behind, in a tie for fourth at 9 under.

On the men’s side, the leader also hails from far away. New Zealander Daniel Hillier is 11 under through two rounds, which puts him one shot ahead of England’s Jordan Smith. Hillier pulled away in the second round with an 8-under 62.

Hillier is just 23 years old and coming off a successful amateur career during which he won the New Zealand Amateur twice and represented his country at the Eisenhower Trophy. He was stroke-play co-medalist with American Cole Hammer at the 2018 U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach.

“It was really good out there,” he told the European Tour. “Made the most of some pretty benign conditions in the morning and got off to a good start. Managed to sink a couple more near the end.

“I’ve hit it really well. Made one bad swing on hole 11 and made bogey there but apart from that it was really solid.

Smith posted that number on Thursday only to follow it up with 68 on Friday. His countrymen Garrick Porteous and David Horsey are tied for third two shots behind him at 8 under. A fourth Englishman, the colorful Eddie Pepperell, is tied for fifth at 7 under along with last week’s Cazoo Open winner Nacho Elvira.

Source : Golf Week More   

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Anna Davis wraps up Girls Junior PGA title, spot on U.S. Junior Ryder Cup team

In the end, no one else could come close to 15-year-old Anna Davis at the Girls Junior PGA Championship.

Anna Davis wraps up Girls Junior PGA title, spot on U.S. Junior Ryder Cup team

In the end, no one else could come close to Anna Davis, the 15-year-old from the San Diego suburb of Spring Valley, California. After a long week at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, Davis won the Girls Junior PGA Championship by a seven-shot margin over Julia Misemer.

Davis strung together rounds of 69-68-73-67 to finish 15 under at Valhalla.

“It feels so good to top off the summer this way with a big win at a tournament like this,” Davis told the PGA of America minutes after being doused with bottles of water by some of her fellow competitors, a tradition often seen on the LPGA. “If I was put in this situation a year ago, I definitely would have struggled mentally. That’s for sure. But my mental game has improved so much, just keeping my head in the game, worrying about me and not what the other girls are doing.”

The Girls Junior PGA is Davis’s biggest win of the year, so she also claimed the title at the AJGA’s Ping Heather Farr Classic back in April. Davis was third at the AJGA’s Under Armour/Albane Valenzuela Girls Championship in May and finished fourth at the Rolex Girls Junior Championship the next month. At this month’s U.S. Girls’ Junior, she bowed out in the first round of match play.

For finishing 1-2 at Valhalla, Davis and Misemer earn spots on the U.S. Junior Ryder Cup team. Despite the fact that the formal matches have been called off because of COVID, a U.S. team consisting of six boys and six girls will still be selected. That squad will travel to Whistling Straits in September to compete in an early-week exhibition match.

Behind Davis and Misemer was a familiar name in Megha Ganne, the 17-year-old who wowed golf fans in June with her U.S. Women’s Open run. She ended up finishing 14th, the low amateur. Ganne will now head to the U.S. Women’s Open next week.

Yana Wilson, a U.S. Girls’ Junior quarterfinalist, was fourth at 6 under.

Source : Golf Week More   

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