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Behind first ace, new caddie and back-nine turnaround, Emma Talley T-3 in Canada

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Emma Talley hopes a couple of firsts this week cumulate into another first  — her maiden LPGA win. 

To begin the CP Women's Open, the 28-year-old American played uninspiring golf with 11 straight pars. Then, on the par-4 12th, she finally added a circle to her scorecard. 

"On No. 12, I looked at my caddie and I was like, 'I know exactly what I'm doing wrong,'" Talley said after her opening 6-under 65. "I'm just going to start hitting it better."

But not only was the very next hole an improvement, it was perfect. 

On Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club's par-3 13th, Talley, the world No. 197, hit an "easy" 6-iron off the tee — her only swing on the hole. And Talley had "chills" talking about it after her round. 

"It was so cool," she said. "Of course, the Canadians are so nice here, and as soon as I made the hole-in-one they just erupted. It was so cool. I haven't had a hole-in-one on the LPGA yet, so that was my first one."



Full-field scores from the CP Women’s Open


After that, the 2013 U.S. Women's Amateur champion and 2015 NCAA individual champion tallied (pun intended) another three birdies en route to the clubhouse lead. However, at the conclusion of Round 1, Talley is T-3, three shots behind leader Paula Reto. 

"It was like completely different golf for the last seven holes than the first half of the day," she said. "It was definitely a crazy day, but turned it around and kept it going."

The ace, however, isn't the only first for Talley this week. She's also playing with a new caddie, Audrey Gerdes, who formerly looped for Kim Kaufman. 

Kaufman and Gerdes split last month after the AIG Women's Open. Talley had been looking for a new caddie and she ran into Gerdes' old boss while flying back to America. 

"She was like, 'I think you guys would be a perfect match,' Talley said, "and we actually ran into each other and it just worked out.

"I honestly feel so blessed to have her. When I texted her I said, 'I just want to put my name in the hat because I knew she's a great caddie and would have a lot of offers.' I'm so thankful she picked me."

Through their first LPGA round together, it looks like a match made in heaven. 

"She might kill me for saying (this), but it's her 31st year on tour," Talley said. "She's amazing. Our personalities mix so well, and I honestly just had so much fun today. I think that's why I was able to turn it around, was because of her. She was so great out there."

Talley hopes their strong chemistry results in her first LPGA victory at the end of this week.