It’s been four weeks to the day since Emma Talley got engaged to her longtime boyfriend, Patrick Smith, and the happiness she feels off the golf course is definitely showing in her game on the course. The University of Alabama alum fired an under-67 4 to open her week at the DIO Implant LA Open and needed just 26 putts to get the job done on a windy day in Wilshire Country Club, a place she feels particularly comfortable with as a fade reader.

“I rode well today. (The greens are) just tricky,” said Talley who averages 29.09 strokes after nine proofs. “Put well in the afternoon, it’s great because tomorrow I will have fresh greens at 7:30 in the morning. I think it sets up really well for a fade, which is what I hit. I have also always loved this golf course since my rookie year. For some reason this is settling in fine for my eyes. I’m hitting the ball very well right now, and that’s a lot, especially when it’s windy.

After a tough opening round on Wednesday at last week’s LOTTE Championship, Talley asked instructor Todd Trimble to fly out for a few hours on Monday to work on his ball-striking ahead of back-to-back weeks in LA, a good move given that she hit 11 of 14 fairways and 12 of 18 greens on Thursday. With 54 holes left to play, Emma feels pretty good about where she is with her game and can’t wait to see her hard work continue to pay off.

“I played very well. I worked very hard during the off-season with all my coaches, my trainers, my mental trainer. I could go on and on. There is a big team around me. We have worked very hard and I am confident. There’s a lot of golf to play, but at least I know I’m feeling good about my game. I’m excited for the next three days.