Reineke, VanArragon and Davies Are 1, 2 & T3 as St. Thomas Gets 1st DI Victory

October 7, 2023 | 4 min.
By Michael R Fermoyle

OMAHA, Neb. -- A pair of University of St. Thomas freshmen, Nicole Reineke and Kathryn VanArragon, finished first and second in the individual standings in the weather-shortened Big O Classic earlier this week, and two of their teammates finished in the top 10, which enabled the Tommies to claim their first victory in women's golf since the school moved up to Division I in 2020. 

Reineke led by a single stroke over VanArragon after shooting a 1-under-par 72 on Monday in the first round at Oak Hills Country Club. The Metro West Conference champion from Chaska HS started her second round on the 14th hole and made six pars in a row, before birdying the par-3 second and expanding her lead to two.

VanArragon, playing ahead of Reineke, bogeyed the par-3 fourth, but so did Reineke, who bogeyed the par-5 sixth, as well. Her lead over VanArragon disappeared when she doubled the par-4 10th hole (340 yards), after VanArragon had bogeyed it. But Reineke pulled ahead for good with a birdie at the 450-yard, par-5 11th. VanArragon, a two-time state high school champion from Blaine who won both the MGA Women's State Amateur and Minnesota Women's State Open titles this summer, fell two behind once again when she bogeyed the par-3 12th, and that was how it ended.

Reineke finished with a 75, which gave her a 36-hole total of 147. VanArragon added a 76 on Tuesday to her first-round 73 for a two-day total of 149. 

There was supposed to be a third round on Wednesday, but rain and lightning forced tournament offiicals to suspend play and, eventually, to cancel the round. So scores reverted to what they were after 36 holes. 

Actually, conditions weren't all that great for Tuesday's second round, either. Another St. Thomas player, Emma Davies, a sophomore from Eden Prairie, turned in the second-best score of the day, a 74, and that elevated her into third place at 150. She started her second round on 15 and was 2 over for the day when she reached the 10th tee, but she birdied the 10th and 11th holes. When VanArragon bogeyed the 12th hole, she and Davies were tied for second, but Davies slipped back into a tie for third with Northern Colorado's Timbre Shehee when she bogeyed the 354-yard, par-4 13th.  

Shehee opened with a 77 on Monday, but she came back with the lowest score of the day Tuesday, a 73, to claim her share of third place at 150.

With four players in the top 10 individually, St. Thomas was pretty much guaranteed to finish first, and it did, by 11 shots with a two-day tab of 599. South Dakota State was second at 610, and Northern Colorado edged Missouri State for third, 619 to 620.  

Big O Classic

At Oak Hills Country Club

Par 73, 6,077 yards

Omaha, Neb. 

Final results (rain and lightning wiped out the third round; so scores reverted to 36-hole totals)

1. St. Thomas                   298-301--599

2. South Dakota State      307-303--610

3. Northern Colorado        315-304--619

4. Missouri State               311-309--620

5.. Wichita State                305-317--622

6. Northern Iowa                308-323--631

7. Montana                        321-311--632

8. Creighton                      313-326--639

9. UT Rio Grande Valley   324-318--642

10. Western Illinois           328-316--644

11. Idaho State                  336-316--652


1. Nicole Reineke, St. Thomas          72-75--147

2. Kathryn VanArragon, St. Thomas. 73-76--149

T3. Emma Davies, St. Thomas          76-74--150

T3. Timbre Shehee, No. Colorado     77-73--150

T3. Eleanor Hudepohl, Creighton       73-77-150

6. McKenzie Mages, So. Dakota St.    76-75--151

T7. Alex Kandolin, So. Dakota State.   75-77--152

T7. Kayla Pfitzner, Missouri State         73-79--152

T9. Isabelle Lynch, St. Thomas             77-76--153
T9. Piper Stubbs, S. Dakota State         78-75--153

T9. Louise Dahl, No. Colorado              76-77--153

T9. Natalie Hooper, W. Illinois                77-76--153   


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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