15-year-old Asterisk Talley shining in U.S. Women’s Open debut, making memories

Asterisk Talley’s first name means “little star” in Greek, but this week at the U.S. Women’s Open, she has been one of the biggest stars at Lancaster Country Club.

A freshman in high school, Talley carded an even-par round of 70 on day one and then shot a 1-over 71 on Friday. Considering the scoring average has hovered around 75, and this course has sent superstars Nelly Korda, Lexi Thompson, and Rose Zhang into the abyss, Talley has played spectacularly.

But the 15-year-old expected to make the cut, roughly two months after she tied for eighth at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.

“I feel like my expectations were to at least make the cut. That’s what I wanted to do,” Talley said Friday.

Asterisk Talley, USGA, U.S. Women’s Open

Asterisk Talley plays her tee shot on the 12th hole during the second round of the 2024 U.S. Women’s Open.
Dustin Satloff/USGA

“If I achieved that, I wanted to win 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.”

Low amateur is still in play for Talley, although she has some stark competition with other impressive amateurs sitting on the leaderboard.

Still, the 15-year-old has a chance to do something special this week. Not only is her game impressive, but she relies on her cool, calm demeanor to chart around the golf course, which has come in handy so far.

“I don’t really get like really hyped on the golf course,” Talley explained.

“I feel like when I make a birdie, I’m like, well, whatever, and if I make a bogey, it’s like, well, I’ll birdie the next hole. I’m not really a feisty competitor. I feel like I’m a calm, collected person.”

Her day began on the tough par-4 10th hole, as Talley made a par there.

She parred the 11th, but disaster almost struck at the now infamous par-3 12th.

“I feel like in the beginning of the round on hole 12, I hit it in the water, and then I had like an eight-footer for bogey, and I made it,” Talley explained.

Asterisk Talley, U.S. Women’s Open

Asterisk Talley plays her second shot on the 14th hole during the second round of the 2024 U.S. Women’s Open
Logan Whitton/USGA

“I feel like that was a big booster in the round because if I had got double on that hole, that might have broken my round. 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.”

Avoiding double bogeys in the U.S. Open is critical, and that bogey save for Talley proved huge.

She made only one more bogey on the long, uphill 18th and then bounced back with a birdie at the par-3 6th later in her round. Talley finished with three straight pars and sat two shots off the lead when she walked off the golf course.

“I’m just trying to have a good time out here. 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,” Talley said.

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

No matter what happens over the weekend, Talley’s U.S. Women’s Open debut has been nothing short of impressive. She is playing the weekend in the biggest event in women’s golf, a testament to her remarkable talent and mentality.

The biggest problem for her now might be that her homework will be a tad late.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

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