McCauley Ties for Big Ten Individual Title; Gophers Are 9th as a Team

April 22, 2024 | 4 min.
By Michael R Fermoyle

HAVRE de GRACE, Maryland -- Bella McCauley started Sunday's final round in the Big Ten Conference Championships tied for 18th place, six strokes behind the leaders. But the University of Minnesota sophomore lit up the Bulle Rock Golf Course with an 8-under-par 64 and ended the day in a three-way tie for the individual title.

The former Minnesota state high school champion, who tied for second in the Big Ten last year as a freshman, posted a 54-hole total of 209 (7 under). She tied a pair of seniors, Michigan's Monet Chun and Indiana's Caroline Craig. Craig closed with a 70, Chun with a 71.

McCauley's 64 was the lowest round of the tournament -- by three strokes. She made eight birdies on Sunday and was bogey free. 

Craig's teammate Carloine Smith matched the second-lowest round of the weekend on Sunday, with a 67, and tied for fourth at 211, along with Northwestern's Lauryn Nguyen, who opened the tournament with a 67.

With Craig and Smith both finishing in the top five individually, Indiana was able to edge Michigan State for the team crown with an overall score of 856. The Spartans were one behind at 857, six ahead of third-place Northwestern.

Minnesota finished ninth at 884.   

McCauley started her final round on the 10th hole and made her first birdie at the 519-yard, par-5 11th. She birdied the other par 5 on the back nine, the 490-yard 15th, then added birdies at the 16th and 18th, both par 4s. The only woman ever to win the Minnesota Golf Champions (2021), McCauley  birdied three of the first four holes on the front nine -- the 343-yard, par-4 first, 524-yard, par-5 second and 140-yard, par-3 third, and made it four birdies in the first five holes with another one at the 357-yard, par-4 fifth.

She parred each of the last four holes.

A year ago, McCauley shot a final-round 68 in the conference tournament to get a share of second. But her 54-hole aggregate of 213 was 12 behind the winning total shot by Crystal Wang of Illinois. 

Big Ten Conference Championships

At Bulle Rock Golf Course

Par 72, 6,314 yards

Havre de Grace, Md. 

Final results 


T1. Bella McCauley, Minnesota       74-71-64--209 (-7)

T1. Caroline Craig, Indiana                 69-69-71--209

T1. Monet Chun, Michigan                  73-66-70--209

T4. Caroline Smith, Indiana                 73-71-67--211

T4. Lauryn Nguyen, Northwestern        67-74-70--211

6. Katie Lu, Michigan State                  70-68-74--212

T7. Hailey Borja, Michigan                   71-73-70--214

T7. Paula Balanzategui, Mich. State    67-72-75--214

T7. Isabel Sly, Illinois                            70-70-74--214

T23. Hailey Loh, Minnesota               76-73-72--221

T49. Megan Furtney, Minnesota        75-76-76--227

T62. Grace Curran, Minnesota          76-79-75--230

T67. Emma Carpenter, Minnesota    79-76-77--232

T77 Ruby Chi, Minnesota                  77-79-82--238


1. Indiana                      285-288-283--856

2. Michigan State          279-283-295--857

3. Northwestern             287-295-281--863

T4. Purdue                     292-289-283--864

T4. Michigan                  288-287-289--864

6. Ohio State                  298-288-286--872

7. Maryland                    298-287-288--873

8. Wisconsin                  295-294-293--882

9. Minnesota                 301-296-287--884

10. Nebraska                 301-293-299--893

T11. Rutgers                  305-296-297--898

T11. Illinois                     301-297-300--898

T13. Penn State             310-294-298--902

T13. Iowa                       300-298-304--902


Michael R Fermoyle

Mike Fermoyle’s amateur golf career features state titles in five different decades, beginning with the State Public Links (1969), three State Amateurs (1970, 1973 and 1980), and four State Four-Ball championships (1972, 1985, 1993 and 2001). Fermoyle was medalist at the Pine to Palm in 1971, won the Resorters in 1972, made the cut at the State Amateur 18 consecutive years (1969 to 1986), the last being 2000, and amassed 13 top-ten finishes. Fermoyle also made it to the semi-final matches at the MGA’s annual match play championship, the Players’, in 1982 and 1987.

Fermoyle enjoyed a career as a sportswriter at the St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch before retiring in 2006. Two years later he began a second career covering the golf beat exclusively for the MGA and its website,, where he ranks individual prep golfers and teams, provides coverage on local amateur and professional tournaments and keeps tabs on how Minnesotans are faring on the various professional tours.

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