Asterisk Talley, 15, used to beat Bryson DeChambeau in chipping contests. Now she’s ready to take on Augusta National

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Mike Schy’s biggest worry about Asterisk Talley was that she’d fall out of love with golf before the age of 15.

At the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, where 15-year-old Talley is the youngest player to make the cut, she certainly sounds like someone having the time of her life on the biggest stage in women’s amateur golf.

“It’s been the greatest two weeks ever,” said Talley after playing Augusta National Golf Club for the first time. Just prior to the ANWA, Talley won the prestigious Junior Invitational at Sage Valley, shooting 9 under over 54 holes to set a new women’s scoring record.

Talley drained a 5-foot putt for par on her last hole Thursday at Champions Retreat to make the cut at 3 over. She trails leader Lottie Woad by eight strokes heading into the final round and will tee off at 7:50 a.m. alongside Farah O’Keefe.

Schy isn’t surprised that Talley made the cut. In fact, he expected her to win. Talley is comfortable winning because Schy encouraged the family to sign her up for as many small tournaments as possible, including the 9-holers, so that she’d learn how to win.

“She became very comfortable winning early,” said Schy. “So many players skip that part.”

Asterisk was 3 years old when people first started telling her father she was good. That’s when she got her first official coach. Schy came into the picture about five years later.

“When she was eight and a half, she had this one tooth that stuck out funny in the front,” said Schy, “and yet when she started hitting balls, I literally thought I was talking to a 20-year-old.”

Schy said he could almost talk to a young Talley about her golf swing like he talked to longtime student Bryson DeChambeau.

“I’ve watched her do chipping stuff with Bryson and beat his brains in,” said Schy, laughing. “She’s not afraid of anyone.”

2024 Augusta National Women's Amateur
2024 Augusta National Women's Amateur

Asterisk Talley tees off on No. 13 tee during a practice round for the 2024 Augusta National Women’s Amateur at Augusta National Golf Club. (Photo: Shanna Lockwood/Augusta National)

Another similarity to DeChambeau, he notes, is their ability to put on blinders and focus. That kind of mentality has been built in for some time now with Talley, he said, despite her age.

Talley’s notoriety has already risen considerably this week with an NBC broadcast still to come on Saturday. The resume, combined with the unique first name, makes her easy to spot.

Talley can thank her dad for her unique first name, which means “little star” in Greek. Her mother, Brandii, is Greek. When asked whether she liked her name, Talley said it has its ups and downs.

“Some people are like, wow, really cool name,” she said, “and then some people are like, what the hell is that, and it’s like, sorry, I didn’t choose it. You just live with it.”

Talley likes to put an “x” when she dots the “I” in her name to make an asterisk sign. She’s been working on her autograph since adults started asking her for it around age 8. Her father, a former graphic designer turned corrections officer, has been working on a logo. When asked whether it might be embroidered on her clothes, which her father mostly buys on eBay, Talley said, “We’re not there yet, but that might happen.”

Talley wants to get to the LPGA as quickly as possible. If she can get there without going to college, she’ll take it.

The 113th-ranked Talley won three WAGR-ranked events last year, including the AJGA Rolex Girls Junior Championship. She also represented the U.S. on the Junior Solheim Cup team and was recently named one 10 girls on the USGA’s new U.S. National Junior Team.

While Schy believed Talley could do big things in her ANWA debut, he reminded her that no matter what happened, she still has to go to school the next week.

But a whole lot more people will know the name.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek