3rd-Round 69 Lifts McCauley into a Tie for 2nd at Jr. Girls PGA Championship
July 29, 2021
LOUISVILLE -- Bella McCauley played the last 10 holes at Valhalla Golf Club in 5 under par Wednesday, which transformed a ho-hum round into a 4-under 69. As a result, she's tied for second place going into the final round of the Girls Junior PGA Championship.
The 17-year-old from Inver Grove Heights started the day tied for seventh. She parred the first seven holes and bogeyed the par-3 eighth. But she birdied the 400-yard, par-4 ninth and eagled the 520-yard, par-5 10th. She bogeyed another par 3, the 190-yard 11th, but the 2020 Minnesota state high school champion went on to birdie three of the last four holes.
That birdie binge started at the 15th, a 380-yard par 4. She parred the 16th but birdied the 17th (390 yards, par 4) and the 18th (490, par 5) to cap off the round.
Her 69 put her at 212 (minus 7) for 54 holes, and in a tie with Julia Misemer, who shot 68.
The leader is Anna Davis, 15, a soon-to-be high school sophomore from Spring Valley, Calif. She was the 36-hole leader at 137 (69-68) and posted a 73 on Wednesday. So she is still 9 under, at 210, after three rounds.
The Girls Junior PGA is one of the few junior tournaments that are contested over 72 holes.
Earlier this year, Davis secured her first AJGA victory, at the PING Heather Farr Classic. The list of former winners of that tournament includes Inbee Park, Paula Creamer and Moriya Jutanugarn.
Another Californian, Jaclyn LaHa, is alone in fourth place, at 214, after a 75. There is a three-way tie for fifth at 215, and it includes Megha Ganne, the 17-year-old who led the 2021 U.S. Women's Open after the first round, and was in the top three for three rounds, before a final-round 77 dropped her into a tie for 14th. She shot 74 on Wednesday.
McCauley was also in the U.S. Women's Open this year. She became the youngest qualifier from Minnesota (at 17 years and not quite 4 months), and after shooting a first-round 80 in the Open, she came back with a 70 at the iconic -- and very difficult -- Olympic Golf Club in San Francisco. Her 36-hole total of 150 missed the cut by two strokes.
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2021 Girls Junior PGA Championship
At Valhalla Golf Club
1. Anna Davis, Spring Valley, Calif. 69-68-73--210
T2. Bella McCauley, Inver Grove Heights 68-75-69--212
T2. Julia Misemer, Overland Park, Kansas 70-74-68--212
4. Jaclyn LaHa, Pleasanton, Calif. 68-71-75--214
T5. Megha Ganne, Holmdel, N.J. 71-70-74--215
T5. Jacqueline Putrino, Lakewood Ranch, Fla. 75-66-74--215
T5. Catherine Rao, Camarillo, Calif. 69-72-74--215
T43. Kathryn VanArragon, Blaine 77-76-74--227