Simley freshman Reese McCauley keeps State Golf title in the family
[anvplayer video=”5038393″ station=”998122″]
Simley freshman Reese McCauley outlasted Roseville sophomore and lifelong friend Olivia Salonek to win the Individual Class AAA Girls State Golf championship, inheriting the title from her older sister Bella.
Click the video box on this page to watch the story of Reese McCauley earning the Class AAA Girls State Golf title two years after her sister Bella – who was in the gallery watching
After winning State as a freshman two years ago by a record 10 strokes, Bella McCauley was unable to defend her title this year. She missed the Section Qualifying tournament while participating in the Women’s U.S. Open. While the family set off to follow Bella play at the Olympic Club in San Francisco – where she barely missed the cut despite shooting a 70 in the second round – Reese stayed home to compete in the Section tourney.
With the 2020 State Tournament cancelled by the pandemic, Bella was still the defending champion heading into 2021.
With the reigning champ in the gallery nervously cheering her along, Reese outlasted Salonek in a back-and forth battle that began with the two friends tied for the lead entering the final round.
After Salonek had taken a one-shot lead on the back nine, McCauley birdied 16 with a clutch 18-foot putt to tie for the lead. Salonek then bogeyed 17 to fall to 4-under, giving McCauley a one-stroke lead going to the final hole – which both parred.
Reese admitted after the win, she wasn’t sure what she needed on the final hole to secure the victory. Saying she prefers not to monitor scoring during play, she made it safely onto the green of the Par 4 18th in two.
After McCauley two-putted for par to finish 5-under, Salonek offered a fist-bump and informed her she’d won. McCauley’s jaw dropped, and the celebration between the two sisters – and back-to-back champs – was on.
Bella raced to the green to give Reese a congratulatory hug while displaying a beaming smile.
Salonek, the McCauley sisters and fourth place finisher Kathryn VanArragon have known each other for years – bonding over shared family trips to junior golf tournaments. The McCauleys’ father Sean has been close friends with Salonek’s father Chad for deades.
The 2022 tourney should be loads of fun with all three returning – as well as Bella, who’ll be a senior.