Marin Eliminates McCauley in Girls' Junior Quarters, Then Gets Blitzed by Clemente

July 22, 2022
By Michael R Fermoyle

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- There were no spectacular comebacks for Reese McCauley on Friday in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship. On Thursday morning, she had gone birdie-birdie on the 17th and 18th holes at The Club at Olde Stone to erase a 2-down-with-two-holes-to-go deficit and then won her Round of 32 match with a birdie on the second extra hole. Then in the afternoon, she made three birdies and no bogeys in a 2&1 Round of 16 victory.

But on Friday morning, there was no magic left. McCauley, the No. 13 seed, made three birdies, and two of them were matched by No. 12 seed Maria Jose Marin. The two 16-year-olds halved the first hole with bogeys, but after that, Marin made five birdies and only one more bogey as she defeated McCauley 2&1.

McCauley, the 2021 Minnesota state Class AAA high school champion from Inver Grove Heights -- and third-place finisher this year -- made things interesting in most of th rounds that she played this week. In the second round of stroke-play qualifying, she birdied seven of her last 10 holes on the way to a 4-under-par 69 -- and a 143 two-day total, which put her in a tie for 11th place. In  and in her first match, she and her opponent, No. 52 seed Kaila Elsayegh, didn't tie a single hole on the front nine. McCauley then took control on the back nine and won 3&2. 

Then came the dramatic comeback in the Round of 32. 

On Friday afternoon, Marin, a Colombian who has already committed to the University of Arkansas for 2023, took on the No. 16 seed, Gianna Clementine -- and she never saw the 14th tee. Actually, Marin didn't play badly. It was just that Clemente was a buzz saw.

Marin didn't win a hole, even though she made three birdies. Clemente, 14, an Ohio native who moved to Florida to be close to her coach, was 2 under and 3 up after four holes, and she just kept making birdies. Her medal-play score was 8 under for the 13 holes she needed to dispatch Marin.  

So Clemente moves on to the final, where she will meet Yana Wilson, a 15-year-old from Henderson, Nev., and the No. 3 seed.

Wilson beat Nicole Gal (No. 43) 5&4 in the quarters. In the semis, she took on Sara Im, who combined with fellow Georgian Thienna Huynh to win the U.S. Women's Amateur Four-Ball in April. (Huynh was in the Girls' Junior this week. She had to survive a 9-for-7 playoff just to get into the match play portion of the tournament, as the No. 63 seed, but she knocked off the No. 2 seed, Natalie Vo, in the Round of 64.) Wilson spotted Im a 2-up lead after six holes, then played the next 10 holes in 4 under and won 3&2.   

Saturday's final between Clemente and Wilson is scheduled for 36 holes. 

U.S. Girls' Junior

At The Club at Olde Stone

Par 73, 6,565 yards

Bowling Green, Ky. 

Stroke play

Final results (the top 64 will advance to match play Wednesday morning)

T1. Natalie Vo, San Jose, Calif.              71-68--139

T1. Saki Baba, Japan                              70-69--139

T3. Olivia Duan, Cupertino, Calif.            71-69--140

T3. Yana Wilson, Henderson, Nev.          69-71--140

5. Catherine Park, Irvine, Calif.                72-69--141

T6. Alexia Siehl, Fort Mill, S.C.                71-71--142

T6. Fiona Xu, New Zealand                     72-70--142

T6. Justice Bosio, Australia                      69-73--142

T6. Karen Tsuru, Carlsbad, Calif.             70-72--142

T6. Samantha Olson, Phoenix                  72-70--142

T11. Reese McCauley, Inver Grove Hts. 74-69--143

T11. Farah O'Keefe, Austin, Texas            69-74--143

T11. Maria Jose Marin, Colombia              74-69--143

Failed to advance -- (9 players tied for 58th at 151; so there will be a 9-for-7 playoff Wednesday morning to complete the match play field of 64)

Bella McCauley, Inver Grove Hts.            76-76--152

Maria Jose Barragan, Mexico                    82-74--156

Match Play

Round of 64

(1) Saki Baba def. (64) Brynn Kort 6&4

(8) Samantha Olson def. (57) Vanessa Zhang 23 holes

(4) Olivia Duan def. (61) Kyra Ly 2&1

(13) Reese McCauley def. (52) Kaila Elsayegh 3&2

(60) Kylee Choi def. (5) Catherine Park 1 up

(63) Thienna Huynh def. (2) Natalie Vo 4&3

(58) Charissa Shang def. (7) Alexia Siehl 2&1

(3) Yana Wilson def. (62) Morgan Smith 2&1

(59) Jennifer Seo def. (6) Karen Tsuru 2&1

Round of 32

(32) Kiara Romero def. (1) Baba 1 up

(16) Gianna Clemente def. (17) Adrian Anderson 2 up

(40) Kynadie Adams def. (8) Olson 5&4

(36) Ashley Kim def. (4) Duan 4&3

(13) McCauley def. (45) Kaitlyn Schroeder 20 holes

(12) Maria Jose Marin def. (21) Bailey Shoemaker 5&4

(31) Grace Kilcrease def. (63) Hunyh 2&1

(18) Sara Im def. (15) Katie Li 3&2

(39) Asterisk Talley def. (58) Shang 2&1

(3) Wilson def. (35) Morgan Ketchum 1 up

(59) Seo def. (27) Laura Zaretsky concession

Round of 16

(16) Clemente def. Romero 2&1

(9) Justice Bosio def. (40) Adams 

(13) McCauley def. (36) Kim 2&1

(12) Marin def. (60) Kylee Choi 6&4

(18) Im def. (31) Kilcrease 3&2

(10) Fiona Xu def. (39) Asterisk Talley 2&1

(3) Wilson def. (19) Ting-Hsuan Huang 4&3

(43) Nicole Gal def. (59) Seo 1 up


(16) Clemente def. Bosio 2&1

(12) Marin def. (13) McCauley 2&1

(18) Im def. (10) Xu 1 up

(3) Wilson def. (43) Gal 5&4


(16) Clemente def. (12) Marin 6&5

(3) Wilson def. (18) Im 3&2


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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