STrib: Freshman Isabella McCauley Tames Her Nerves on the Course: Qualifies for NCAA Championship

Ignatius L Hoops

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Rachel Blount:

Of all the advice her dad has given her, one saying has always stood out to Isabella McCauley. It's not your score that counts. It's your character.

Sean McCauley has spoken those words dozens of times, but his daughter pondered them in a fresh way this spring. While her college golf career was off to a strong start, Isabella believed she could benefit from fine-tuning her mental approach on the course.

With her dad's wisdom in mind, the Gophers freshman strived to be someone her playing partners would remember, for reasons other than her scorecard.

"When we were done with the round, I wanted them to think of me as a really great person, not just a golfer,'' McCauley said. "It's way more enjoyable and a lot less stressful. And it seemed to really make a difference.''

That small adjustment has helped propel McCauley to an unforgettable college debut. The former Simley High School star from Inver Grove Heights is one of two Gophers to qualify for one of the six NCAA women's golf regionals. Her regional will begin Monday in Westfield, Ind.
 

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WESTFIELD, IN -Isabella McCauley and Luisamariana Mesones finished round one of the NCAA Westfield Regional today. Both freshmen carded 2-over-par 74s, putting them in a four-way tie for the top spot amongst the six total individual competitors.

Quotable:
"Both Bella and Mariana played some solid golf today," said head coach Rhyll Brinsmead. "We did make a couple of errors late in the round but they're right where they need to be with two rounds left. It was a great day watching them both compete."

Notable:
Luisamariana Mesones started the round strong with eight pars and one birdie on the front nine. She found six more pars on the back and finished the day tied for 41st overall, shooting 74 (+2).

Isabella McCauley notched a total of 10 pars and four birdies on the day. She dominated the par fives, averaging a 4.50, which was tied for the 11th-best average in round one. She sits alongside teammate Mesones in a tie for 41st with a round one score of 74 (+2).

Up Next:
Round two of the NCAA Westfield Regional will begin tomorrow, Tuesday, May 9. Tee times have yet to be posted, but can be found at Golfstat.com when available
 

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WESTFIELD, IN - Round two of the NCAA Westfield Regional was wrapped up today. McCauley and Mesones showed improvement, each shedding off strokes from their first 18. As it stands after the second round, McCauley is two strokes behind the top individual not currently on an advancing team, followed closely by teammate Mesones.

The top-5 teams heading into round three are Mississippi State, Oregon State, Vanderbilt, Virginia, and Tulsa.

Quotable:
"Between Bella and Mariana today we were six under, just a great day at the course," said head coach Rhyll Brinsmead. "It was fun to be out there watching them compete and support each other all day. We're really excited to have one more round to show what Gopher golf is about."

Notable:
Isabella McCauley moved forward an impressive 32 spots on the leaderboard today and is now tied for ninth after scoring a 67 (-5). She finished her round bogey-free carding 13 pars and five birdies.

Mariana Mesones showed a three-stroke improvement in round two. She finished her 18 with a 1-under-par 71, highlighted by an eagle on hole no. 4. She is just one of eight players with one on her scorecard.

Up Next:
The final round of the NCAA Westfield Regional will be played tomorrow, May 9, with tee times to be released on Golfstat.com at a later time. As a reminder, the top five teams and the overall low individual not on an advancing team from each regional will advance to the NCAA Championship. In the event of a tie, there will be a playoff.
 


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WESTFIELD, IN - Freshmen Isabella McCauley and Luisamariana Mesones finished the final round of the NCAA Westfield Regional today. McCauley continued her dominant play shooting a 4-under-par 68 to move forward two more spots on the leaderboard.

McCauley's play earned her a spot in the NCAA Championship as she finished with the lowest individual score from all players not on a qualifying team. It is the first time since 2011 the Maroon & Gold will be represented in this tournament.

Quotable:
"What a day! When Bella hit it to two feet on hole one we knew it was going to be a big day," said head coach Rhyll Brinsmead. "This is a history-making performance from Bella and I'm so glad we got to witness it alongside Mariana. Their energy was amazing and they fed off each other the whole event. To represent the University of Minnesota at nationals is a dream come true."

Notable:
Isabella McCauley tied her personal best tournament score to par shooting a 74-67-68=209 (-7) while finishing in sixth. She ended her final round today with five birdies and 12 pars. McCauley also tied for the lowest par-4 average (3.87) out of the 66 competitors in the tournament.

Luisamariana Mesones rolled home 12 pars and one birdie in round three. The freshman finished the tournament with 43 pars, which was the most out of all players. She finished in a tie for 37th shooting 74-71-76=221 (+5).

Up Next:
Isabella McCauley will head to Scottsdale, AZ. to compete at the Grayhawk Golf Club in the NCAA National Championship May 19-22
 


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MINNEAPOLIS - Freshman Isabella McCauley is one day out from beginning play at the NCAA Championship in Scottsdale, AZ. The freshman will be the first Gopher women's golfer to compete in this event since 2011. McCauley has finished top-10 in her past four events.

The tournament will be hosted at the Grayhawk Golf Club and individual competition begins Friday, May 19, with McCauley teeing off at 3:42 p.m. CT., and conclude on the 22nd.

Stanford's Rose Zhang is the defending individual champion.

From the Coach:
"This is a special day in the history of the program. To be represented at the NCAA National Championship is a huge step forward for what we're building," said head coach Rhyll Brinsmead. "Bella is playing phenomenal golf right now and we're excited to see her compete on the biggest stage in golf."

Follow Live:
Live scoring is available at Golfstat.com or by clicking the link above.

The Competition:
McCauley will join 155 other golfers from 36 universities in Scottsdale for the tournament. There are a total of 30 teams and six individuals competing.

The top 15 teams and nine individuals on a non-advancing team will compete in the final round of stroke play on May 22nd to crown an individual winner.

The Course:
This is the third consecutive year that Grayhawk Golf Club has served as the host of the NCAA Championships. The par-72 course plays 6,384 yards with 40 acres of fairway and 62 sand bunkers.

Looking Ahead:
Round one begins tomorrow, May 19th with tee times beginning at 8:10 a.m. CT. The final round of individual play will be streamed on The Golf Channel at 3:00 p.m. CT on May 22
 

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SCOTTSDALE, AZ. - Isabella McCauley finished round one of the NCAA Women's Golf National Championship today. The freshman got out to a hot start shooting under par in the first nine holes and sits in a tie for 66th heading into tomorrow.

Oklahoma State's Madison Hinson-Tolchard shot a -6 (66) and is the current individual leader.

Quotable:
"Bella played a solid round today. I know she would like to have finished the day under par but we unfortunately made some bogeys on the finishing holes. The wind picked up, and with the firm greens, the ball was running out which made the final holes harder to navigate," said head coach Rhyll Brinsmead. "She is in a good position overall and just as she did last week at Regionals we have more golf ahead of us to improve on."

Notable:
McCauley notched eight pars and four birdies on her way to a 2-over-par 74 and is tied for 66th out of the 156 competitors.

Up Next:
Round two will begin tomorrow, Saturday, May 20, with tee times beginning at 8:10 a.m. CT.

Isabella will start her round at 10:22 a.m. CT.
 



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SCOTTSDALE, AZ -Isabella McCauley wrapped up her second round at the NCAA Women's Golf National Championship today. It was a tale of two nines for the freshman, scoring 5-over-par on the front, and 1-under-par on the back. McCauley currently sits in a tie for 102nd with a two-day score of 150 (+6).

Wake Forest's Lauren Walsh now has the solo lead with a two-day score of 134 (-10).

Quotable:
"Bella played a really solid round other than a compounded triple early in her day. I'm really proud of how she bounced back and played the rest of her round under par," said head coach Rhyll Brinsmead. "This is such a special experience competing at the NCAA national championship and we are soaking in every moment."

Notable:
McCauley carded 14 pars and one birdie during today's play. The single birdie and eight of those pars came during her final nine holes. Her two-day score of 74-76=150 (+6) has her tied for 102nd heading into tomorrow's elimination round.

Up Next:
Round three will be played tomorrow, Sunday, May 21, with tee times once again beginning at 8:10 a.m. CT.

McCauley will start her round at 3:32 p.m. CT. The top 15 teams and nine individuals not on an advancing team will play in a fourth round on Monday, May 22, to crown the individual national champion
 

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SCOTTSDALE, AZ. -Isabella McCauley finished round three and her final round of the NCAA Women's Golf National Championship today. The freshman shot her best 18 of the tournament today helping her move forward 25 places, finishing in the top half of the field tied for 77th. Her three-day score of 223 (+7) came up short as she won't be one of the nine individuals advancing to tomorrow's final individual round.

Southern California's Catherine Park has the individual lead heading into tomorrow with a three-day score of 206 (-10).

Quotable:
"Just an unbelievable week and an absolute highlight of my coaching career," said head coach Rhyll Brinsmead. "To finish in the top half of the field at the NCAA championship as a freshman is a remarkable feat. The future of Minnesota golf is in great hands."

Notable:
McCauley carded an impressive 15 pars and one birdie during her round today. She finished the tournament with a three-day score of 74-76-73=223 (+7) and in a tie for 77th.

This was the first time in 12 years a Gopher competed in the NCAA Women's Golf National Championship
 




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