Minnesota Golf Association

McCauley Sisters and Sarkar Set to Battle at the Minnesota Jr. Girls' State Championship

June 29, 2020

By Nick Hunter
  EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – Sisters Isabella and Reese McCauley have logged nearly 60 rounds together at their home course at Southview Country Club so far this season, and while they are teammates on the Simley High School golf team, the two have never played a round in the same group as competitors.
That will change Tuesday when the sisters tee off in the final group after both carded rounds of 1-over 72 Monday to earn a share of the opening-round lead with Aayushi Sarkar at the 75th Minnesota Junior Girls’ State Championship at Bent Creek Golf Club.
“It will be fun—we play almost every day together so it may not feel like a tournament,” older sister Isabella said following her round Monday. “I’ve never been paired with her, so I don’t really know what to expect from her. I’m excited, it should be fun because we love playing together.”
“It’ll be a little different, but I think I’ll be pretty relaxed,” said Reese. “When we play together, she usually wins, but once in a while it’s pretty close or I’ll beat her here and there.”
After rolling in an early birdie, Isabella McCauley turned in 1-over with a pair of late bogeys before bouncing back with a birdie at the 10th, getting up-and-down from a greenside bunker. Back-to-back three-putts at 15 and 16 dropped McCauley out of the lead briefly before she sank a 15-footer for birdie at the 17th and would close out her opening round at 72.
“This course is short enough that I was expecting to shoot a little lower today, but I still hit some good shots,” Isabella McCauley said. “I made a couple putts, but they just didn’t really drop today. I didn’t really hit them close enough to expect to make birdies. I had two bad holes that put me back a little bit. I didn’t miss too many fairways and I made a couple putts, but I was pretty consistent today.
“This is my first competitive round since last fall, so I’m excited to be back out. My game is pretty good right now. Golf is such a funny game because one day you’re on and the next you’re not, but I’d say I’m pretty close to where I want to be.”
Defending Class AAA individual champion Isabella McCauley is in search of her first state victory since claiming the 2019 Minnesota Junior Girls’ PGA Championship at The Jewel Golf Club. She will be a junior at Simley this fall.
Carding a pair of bogeys during her outward nine Monday, Reese McCauley settled in after sticking her approach inside of a foot at the 12th for a tap-in birdie. Falling back to 2-over with a bogey at the 16th, Reese McCauley surged right back by chipping in for birdie at the 16th and would share the first-round clubhouse lead with her older sister at 1-over 72.
“I was happy that I made a lot of shorter putts today,” the soon-to-be freshman at Simley said. “I’ve had some good rounds and bad rounds, but I’m just trying to score well and have fun.”
Sarkar, a recent graduate of Woodbury High School, began her round on the back nine with three bogeys over her first six holes before carding a pair of birdies at 14 and 15 to limit the damage. She would turn in 2-over with a birdie at the 18th but would find her rhythm during her back nine, playing the final nine holes at 1-under, highlighted by a birdie on the final hole to join the McCauley sisters at 72.
“I wanted to come in and shoot around even par, but my main focus was to hit fairways and greens,” Sarkar said. “It was a pretty rocky start, but I kept my head together on the back nine. Hitting greens on the back nine was key for me today. My chipping was not it today.”
Sarkar, who will begin her freshman season at Drake University later this year, claimed the 2018 Twin Cities Junior Championship and has also notched eight top-5 finishes at state championships since 2016.
Hannah Boraas, an Alexandria, Minn., native, sank a pair of birdies on the final two holes to post a 4-over 75 and will begin the final round three shots back in fourth place.
The final round of the 75th Minnesota State Junior Girls’ Championship is scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m. at Bent Creek Golf Club.

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