Asterisk Talley and Sarah Lim claim the 9th U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball title at Oak Hills Country Club

Asterisk Talley’s remarkable season of golf continued this week at Oak Hills Country Club, and this time she brought a friend along for the ride. Talley, 15, of Chowchilla, California, teamed with fellow Northern Californian Sarah Lim, 17, of Saratoga, to capture the 9th U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship.

The dynamic duo won a pair of matches on a hot Wednesday in southwestern Texas, including the final where they won 4-and-2 over Brynn Kort, 16, of Henderson, Nevada, and Gracie McGovern, of Paradise Valley, Arizona.

Talley becomes the second-youngest player to win this title; she’s just two months older than fellow U.S. National Junior Team member and 2023 champion Gianna Clemente. The high school freshman’s great golf began last summer with her triumph in the Rolex Girls Championship, a major invitational on the American Junior Golf Association circuit. She also was a member of the 2023 U.S. Junior Solheim Cup Team.

This year, Talley began with a triumph at the prestigious Junior Invitational at Sage Valley in March and followed with an eighth-place finish at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. Nine days ago, she qualified for the 2024 U.S. Women’s Open Presented by Ally before going to the inaugural U.S. National Junior Team camp at the Atlanta Athletic Club and flying directly to Texas on Friday in time to get in one practice round at Oak Hills, an A.W. Tillinghast design that has previously hosted the Texas Open, a PGA Tour Champions event and the 2001 U.S. Junior Amateur.

“It's crazy just knowing that I'm on the [U.S. National Junior] Team and now I'm a [USGA] champion,” said Talley, who is No. 86 in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Rankings. “I don't know how to explain it. It's just super crazy. I'm speechless about it.

“It's been a crazy year already and we're not even halfway through. I'm just excited for what's to come, and I'm not going to let this [title] overcome my thoughts. I'm just going to keep practicing and working hard.”

Lim, who has verbally committed to attend Princeton University in 2025, doesn’t possess the same golf résumé, but the No. 2,454 player in the WAGR did post a pair of fifth-place finishes in AJGA events prior to the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball. Living three hours from each other, the two became friends from sharing the same coach, Mike Schy, the longtime instructor to two-time USGA champion Bryson DeChambeau, and by playing in the same junior tournaments. It was Lim who first contacted Talley last year about trying to qualify.

“We came here to win, but it's kind of crazy that we actually won,” said Lim. “We play our local [Northern California] tournaments. Just from there on we had a partnership.”  

Qualifying won’t be in their future as both are now exempt into the 2024 U.S. Women’s Amateur at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the U.S. Girls’ Junior at El Caballero Country Club in Tarzana, California, as well as the next 10 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Balls.

The final match at the U.S. Women's Amateur Four-Ball

While the birdies didn’t accumulate in the final, they made enough to secure the title.

After going one down on the second hole when Kort drained a 30-footer from the fringe, Lim answered with a 25-footer of her own on six to tie the match.

The battle then turned on the par-4 seventh green. Kort had picked up her ball after missing a par putt. With Lim and Talley already in with a 4, McGovern missed her birdie attempt. Lim and Talley had left the green at this point, and McGovern, a 2024 Texas Christian University signee, thought she heard a concession call by her opponents. When she picked up, Lim’s father/caddie, James Lim, alerted a Rules official of the faux pas.

A breach of Rule 9-4 turned into a loss-of-hole situation for McGovern and Kort, who suddenly found themselves one down.

“I could have sworn I heard them say, ‘That's good,’” said Kort, who is No. 719 in the WAGR. “That was the biggest momentum switch.”

McGovern said it emotionally rattled the side, and they never recovered, despite the match having plenty of holes remaining.

“We just tried to stay positive,” said McGovern, the 2023 Heather Farr Classic champion who is No. 478 in the WAGR. “We tried to keep each other up. We still had fun out there.”

Talley got up and down for birdie from a greenside bunker on the 270-yard eighth hole, converting a five-footer for a two-up advantage. The status stayed that way until the 14th hole when Lim converted from five feet.

Both McGovern, a veteran of two U.S. Women’s Amateurs and a U.S. Girls’ Junior, and Kort, a 2025 Texas A&M verbal commit who was playing in her fourth USGA championship, had birdie putts from nine and eight feet on the par-5 15th, only to miss them both.

With Lim and Talley both inside 10 feet for birdie on 16, McGovern had to make her uphill 18-footer – Kort missed the green and the ensuing flop shot came up three feet short – to extend the match. When she missed, they conceded the birdie putts and the match.

View full scoring from the U.S. Women's Amateur Four-ball here.