Gophers golf: Simley grad Isabella McCauley shoots bogey-free 64 to share Big Ten title

Isabella McCauley was not in the running to win the Big Ten championship heading into the third and final round on Sunday in Maryland.

The Gophers sophomore was in 18th place to start the day, seven shots back of the lead.

Then she went nuclear.

The Simley grad shot a bogey-free 64 on Sunday at Bulle Rock Golf Course to earn a share of the Big Ten individual title with a three-round, 54-hole score of 7-under par. She shared the title with Michigan’s Monet Chun and Indiana’s Caroline Craig.

McCauley, who placed second at the 2023 Big Ten championships as a freshman en route to eventually earning a spot in in the NCAA Championships, is the second-ever Gophers women’s golfer to win a Big Ten title. The only other was Kate Hughes, who did ito in 1989.

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

McCauley birdied her first three holes — and four of her first five — to get rolling Sunday. She finished strong, as well, birdieing three of her final four holes to put herself in position to claim a share of the title.

McCauley’s 64 was the best round of the entire tournament by two strokes. The Gophers finished ninth overall as a team.

Sunday was McCauley’s second win of the school year, along with winning the Boilermaker Classic in the fall.

“What an amazing day for Bella McCauley,” Gophers coach Rhyll Brinsmead said in a release. “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.”

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