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Golf prodigy wins championship

Chowchilla 7-year-old Asterisk Talley won the U.S. Kids Golf Championship by two strokes last week. (For the Madera Tribune)


After a close match, a young golfer from Madera County won the world championship in a nail-biting finish.

Asterisk Talley, 7, of Chowchilla, won the U.S. Kids Golf Championship in Pinehurst, NC, beating out 1,500 other children from 50 different countries Aug. 4-7 in the Girls 7-under division.

She finished the first round tied for first place, before pulling ahead by one stroke in the second round.

By the third, and final round, Talley increased her lead to two strokes, beating the runner-up, Alexis Lamadrid, of Phoenix.

“She was super excited,” said Asterisk’s mother, Brandii Talley. “It was fun. It was really just an enjoyable experience for all of the families, and the kids that competed.”

Asterisk began golfing as a toddler, initially using a plastic set for children.

“She started doing it just to be with her dad,” Asterisk’s grandmother, Linda Doumas said. “Because her dad worked nights, he’d pick her up from daycare when he got off work at about 3 p.m., and they’d just go out and mess around, and that’s how she got started. She does something every day with her dad.”

James Talley, an officer with the California Department of Corrections, has been golfing for 15 years. Golf, however, is not Asterisk’s only activity. She is also involved in softball and gymnastics, and also plays the piano.

The Talley family also has the advantage of living near the Pheasant Run Golf Club

“We practice a lot,” Asterisk said before the tournament. “We play a couple of holes on it... almost every day.”

Asterisk’s golfing is mostly done with her father and his friends.

At the tournament, however, Asterisk got the chance to meet golfers her age. This, according to her mother, was just as much fun for Asterisk as winning.

“She got to meet kids from all over the world, and she made new friends,” Brandii Talley said. “And when they weren’t having to focus and be serious on the game, they played, and were silly, and had fun. I’m definitely glad we made the decision to go ahead and commit to going.”

As the winner of the tournament, Asterisk is automatically invited to come back next year, where she looks forward to meeting her friends again, including Lamadrid, for a rematch.

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