Gopher Golf: McCauley Crowned Big Ten Co-Champion

Ignatius L Hoops

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HAVRE DE GRACE, Mary. -- University of Minnesota sophomore Isabella McCauley (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) was crowned the Big Ten champion today at the Bulle Rock Golf Course in Havre de Grace, Mary. McCauley is just the second Golden Gopher in school history to bring home the title and the first since Kate Hughes in 1989.



McCauley shared the championship alongside Monet Chun (Michigan) and Caroline Craig (Indiana). The tri-champions finished with a three-day total of 7-under par 209. This is the first time in the event's history that three players have earned co-medalist honors.



McCauley made a significant jump from Saturday's 18th-place spot to storm back on the final day. She shot an impressive bogey-free round three, shooting eight-under-par (64). McCauley tallied eight birdies and 10 pars to move 17 places up the leaderboard into the top spot.



This also improved her freshman showing when she tied for second at the 2023 Big Ten Championship a year ago (71-74-68--213). Today's showing also marked her second-best round as a Gopher.



The Gophers closed out the championship today shooting 287 (-1) to finish at 884 (+20) and ninth overall. The Maroon & Gold captured wins over Nebraska (893), Rutgers (898), Illinois (898), Penn State (902), and Iowa (902). Indiana took home the team championship after shooting a 283 (-5) to finish at 856 (-8).



Notable:

Senior Hailey Loh shot an even-par 72 (E) to close out the tournament tied for 31st. She tallied three birdies and 13 pars on her way to a three-round score of 76-73-72-221 (+5).



Graduate Megan Furtney shot another four-over-par 76 (+4) on the final day. She notched 14 pars to finish tied for 49th place with a three-round score of 75-76-76-227 (+11).



Graduate Grace Curran added two birdies and 11 pars to her scorecard in round three to finish tied for 62nd. She completed the event at 14-over-par (76-79-75-230).



Graduate Emma Carpenter finished her third round with two birdies and nine pars. She finished with a score of 79-76-77-232 (+16) and tied for 67th place.



Sophomore Junrui Chi finished the event with a score of 77-78-82-238 (+22). She carded 10 pars in the final round to end tied for 77th place.


Quotable:

"What an amazing day for Bella McCauley," said head coach Rhyll Brinsmead. "To come back and win the Big Ten Championship shooting a 64 is incredible effort. She has truly left her mark on the history of the University of Minnesota golf program and she's only a sophomore. I'm really pleased that the team to finish the championship shooting one-under par. Thank you to our seniors for all they've done for our program."



"Winning the Big Ten Championship is the kind of thing I've dreamed about since I was a kid," said Isabella McCauley. "I couldn't be more grateful to do it with the most amazing team beside me."
 


"On my ninth hole, I made a birdie from a pretty tough spot in the rough," she said. "That definitely brought me to a place where I was like, 'Wow, this could be a pretty special day.' And it just kind of continued."

Special turned out to be an understatement. After she began the day in 18th place, McCauley's dream round — an astonishing 8-under-par 64 — catapulted her to a share of the Big Ten championship. That score tied the course record at Bulle Rock Golf Course in Havre de Grace, Md., which hosted five LPGA Championships, a major, from 2005 to 2009.

A former Simley High School star and state Class 3A champion, McCauley lopped 10 strokes off her opening-round 74 on the tournament's final day. She started her round on the back nine, and that escape on No. 18 sparked a run that turned a good round into a spectacular one.
 









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