Simley junior Reese McCauley won a second Class 3A golf state tournament Wednesday, catching and passing Blaine senior Kathryn VanArragon on the final hole at Bunker Hills Golf Club in Coon Rapids.
VanArragon led by one stroke going into the 18th hole. But her double bogey, coupled with McCauley's birdie, flipped the name atop the leaderboard.
Both players received handmade signs of support written in crayon by a young female golf fan.
"I knew I most likely had to get birdie to get back to a tie with her," McCauley said. "It means a lot because she is a great player and a good friend."
VanArragon, committed to St. Thomas for college, was attempting to become the sixth girls golfer to win three individual titles in state history. She shot 72 on Tuesday, four strokes behind McCauley, who has committed to the Gophers for college and will join sister Isabella on the roster.
"I really think anybody that's paid attention to golf knows all three of those young ladies and knows that they changed the game," Simley coach Kyle Golden said.
Maple Grove makes history
Crimson junior Amelia Morton had a good feeling walking the fairway on hole 18 as she observed her team and coach in good moods.
Sure enough, Maple Grove made school history with its first golf state tournament championship after two runner-up finishes. The Crimson finished the two-day event with a 625 score, 10 strokes better than Wayzata.
"We knew we could get it this year," said Morton, who topped the Crimson scoring contingent of eighth-grader Annika Hendrickson, senior Maria Contreras and eighth-grader Payton Anderson.
The Edina boys repeated as champions with a score of 584. The four scorers were Torger Ohe, Jimmy Abdo, Sander Ohe and Owen Nielsen.
Birdwell wins boys crown
Spring Lake Park junior Jake Birdwell became his school's first golf state tournament champion. He finished at 8-under 136 over the two days.
He finished with a flourish, putting his final tee shot on the green on a par-4 hole.
"I wasn't hitting my 3-wood well all day," Birdwell said. "I was more confident in my driver."
Not until he walked about halfway down the fairway did he realize his ball was the on the green.
"It was awesome," Birdwell said.
Providence Academy senior Grace Petzold went out in style.
Petzold shot a final-round 2-under-par 70 to garner medalist honors at Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan in her final high school girls event. Petzold, ranked 12th in the state by the Minnesota Golf Association, entered the day one shot behind Park Rapids senior Madysen Maninga after an opening-round 75. Maninga tied for 11th place.
Pequot Lakes shot a final-round 322 to prevent Lake City from winning its third consecutive team championship. The Patriots, who wound up with a 651 total, overcame a seven-stroke deficit after the first round to win by three shots.
In the boys tournament, Totino-Grace shot back-to-back 299s for a 598 total and the team championship. The Eagles finished four strokes ahead of runner-up Holy Family.
Staples-Motley sophomore Carter White won the individual title with two rounds at par 72. He was tied for third, two shots off the pace, after the opening round.
New Life Academy senior Cole Witherow went back-to-back, successfully defending his individual state championship with a 5-under-par 139 at Pebble Creek Golf Club in Becker. He followed his first round of 70 with a 69 Wednesday.
First-round leader Lakeview finished with a 636 to claim the team championship.
In the girls tournament, Legacy Christian junior Raquelle Nelson led from start to finish, earning medalist honors with a 17-over-par 161. She shot a final-round 82 to win by three shots.
Lac qui Parle Valley improved its team score by four strokes from the opening round and made up an eight-stroke deficit to claim the team title by one shot over Fillmore Central. The Eagles finished with a 696 total.