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Oklahoma State's Caley McGinty, second-ranked player in country, enters transfer portal

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The second-ranked women’s player in the country is looking for a new home.

In a shocking decision, Caley McGinty, a junior at Oklahoma State, has entered the transfer portal following the Cowgirls’ spring opener, the Rapsodo Match in the Desert.

McGinty tied for fifth last weekend at Superstition Mountain in Arizona, her fourth top-5 finish of the season, before informing her coaches and teammates that she wanted to move on after just five months in Stillwater, Oklahoma. She also won twice in the fall, at the Schooner Fall Classic and Jim West Challenge, and was among the select group of players named to the most recent Annika Award Watch List.

Oklahoma State head coach Greg Robertson said he and his team were surprised by McGinty's decision.

"We want for her to do what's best for her and be happy," Robertson told GolfChannel.com on Sunday morning. "I hope she finds a great situation and has a lot of happiness and success in the future."

McGinty began her college career at Kent State, where she was recruited by Robertson, before transferring to Oklahoma State last summer. Should she transfer to a third school, she wouldn't be eligible to compete until Fall 2023, unless she returns to Kent State, where she'd be able to play starting this fall.

The former Curtis Cupper could also choose to return home to Ireland and turn professional.

Whichever route she takes, McGinty will be making a rare decision. Other than the players who have left midseason in recent years after securing LPGA or Symetra Tour status, McGinty is on a short list of those who have bolted abruptly, joining notables such as South Carolina's Nanna Koerstz Madsen in November 2014, Wake Forest's Mathilda Cappeliez in March 2017 and Ole Miss' Smilla Sonderby last October. But none of those players were ranked second in the country at the time of their departures.

In an interview with Morning Read earlier this month, McGinty said she was looking forward to the spring season and that she intended to graduate college before turning professional. She also had this to say about the college-golf experience:

"Try to soak up as much as you can. College golf can be pretty full-on, but as long as you have your priorities in the right place, enjoy it as much as possible because it’s such a good opportunity and there’s so much available to you. It’s easy to take things for granted."

As for Oklahoma State, the Cowgirls went undefeated in the fall and are ranked second just behind Stanford. They opened their spring with a runner-up showing to Arizona State, beating teams such as Ole Miss and UCLA, while sophomore Maddison Hinson-Tolchard won the individual title. She, junior Isabella Fierro and sophomore Rina Tatematsu keep Oklahoma State among the nation's best, though junior Hailey Jones, senior Lianna Bailey and freshman Clemence Martin will be counted on more to replace McGinty and her 68.2 scoring average.