BETHESDA, Md. – Emma Talley putted with a 58-degree wedge for the final three holes of her opening round of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Congressional Country Club after breaking her putter at the par-5 sixth. After making bogey on the hole, Talley tapped her putter against her left shoe, something she says she often does in habit after a missed opportunity. But this time, the putter broke.
“Yeah it was just a freak accident,” Talley said after her round. “I hit my putter on my toe but it wasn’t even that hard, that’s why I'm so upset because I wish I would have broken it out of madness, but it wasn’t even that hard. That’s what sucked.”
Putting with her wedge, Talley bogeyed two of her final three holes en route to a 6-over 78.
She believes the habit of continually tapping her putter on her toe over time, and by tapping the sand off her shoe after getting out of a greenside bunker, led the club to break easily on Thursday.
With a recent revision to the Rules of Golf, Talley could have continued to use the broken putter. But Talley indicated after her round that the putter had snapped off to about a foot in length, which made it nearly impossible for her to use.
After the incident, Talley began crying on the course and was in tears when she spoke with a group of reporters after her round. She says the tears were more from embarrassment than anything else as she doesn’t want fans, especially young viewers, to see her as an angry golfer.
“Obviously, you want to shed light when you're out here, and like, if they didn't see what happened they would think I probably snapped it over my leg,” Talley said about what she was feeling about the incident. “Embarrassment. All of it.”