Gophers golfer Bella McCauley qualifies for 2nd straight NCAA Tournament

Isabella McCauley did it again.

After becoming Minnesota’s first Big Ten individual champion in 35 years, the Gophers’ sophomore golfer made another dramatic comeback on Wednesday to qualify for her second straight NCAA Tournament.

McCauley entered the third and final round of the Auburn Regional 2-over par. She shot a 7-under par 65 on Wednesday, and as the top individual finisher in the field at tied for second, McCauley qualified for the NCAA Tournament. 

"I am so grateful to qualify for Nationals back-to-back years," McCauley said. "It is always an honor to wear the Maroon and Gold, and I can’t wait to do it again next week."

McCauley carded seven birdies and 11 pars to move up 16 spots. She tied for second-most birdies (12) out of 66 competitors throughout the tournament and ended the event at 2-under-par (77-72-65 – 214). Her 65 is the lowest 18-hole score by an individual at the Auburn University Club in its current format for tournament play. It becomes the fourth lowest 18-hole score in school history. 

"It was just an absolutely incredible day," said head coach Rhyll Brinsmead. "To shoot 65 on this golf course to qualify for nationals is one of the most amazing feats I have ever seen." 

Two weeks ago, McCauley entered the final round of the Big Ten Tournament 1-over par, seven shots off the field.

She stormed back to win the individual title with an 8-under par 64.

McCauley started the Auburn Regional with a 5-over par 77, then rebounded Tuesday with an even par 72 to set up Wednesday’s final round.