Celia Barquin brings experience to ISU women’s golf


Sophomore Celia Barquin taking shots at the Cyclones’ practice facility

Mike Randleman

In Christie Martens’ 10 seasons at the helm of the ISU women’s golf team, her players have littered the record books and helped revive a program that once languished at the bottom of the Big 12.

Many of her players continue to have professional careers but despite the talent that has come through Ames, she thinks her best player may be on the way in the form of Celia Barquin.

Barquin, currently the fourth-ranked Spanish amateur, has been featured in the top 20 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings and boasts an international resume that exceeds her years.

“She’s probably one of the most accomplished freshmen we’ve had come to our program,” Martens said of the No. 57 ranked amateur. “She has a lot of international experience, representing her country in the Youth Olympics and has played well [at] several different events around the world.”

While at Iowa State, Martens has made her mark developing players, many of whom did not hit their full stride until their college years.

Barquin, 18, has developed into a talent that can be a key contributor immediately.

“I was really impressed with her demeanor on the course when I saw her play in France,” Martens said. “She hits the ball so straight and is a great putter, she’s got that down.”

Due to a busy summer in which Barquin competed in six international events — many of which received “Elite,” “A” or “B” grades on the WAGR website — she has only been in Ames for a week. Nonetheless, she has already won over her teammates.

“She’s done great, she’s so positive and really fits in. I think she’ll be great for the team,” said teammate Cajsa Persson. “She has experience that others on the team don’t have. She played in the Olympics and a lot of European team championships. Even though she’s a freshman, I think everyone can learn from her.”

The tight-knit atmosphere that the Cyclones embody was one of the factors that affected Barquin’s decision to commit to Iowa State when she could have chosen almost any school.

“The facilities are really great. I came here because I felt really good when I made the visit. The team is so close and the coaches are really nice,” Barquin said. “It’s my sixth day here, I arrived pretty late, but all the girls on the team are so close.”

Another factor that aided Iowa State’s cause during the recruitment process was the two Spanish members on the men’s golf team — freshman Jorge Utrilla and senior Scott Fernandez — who have been able to smooth her transition to a new country and language.

“Scott is good because he’s a senior so if I have a problem he can help me,” Barquín said. “Jorge is one of my best friends, we went to the same school, so it’s really, really nice.”

All three Spaniards hail from Blume Residence High School in Madrid, a school that claims eight-time PGA Tour winner Sergio Garcia as an alumnus.

“Celia went to a great school that combines academics and athletics. Not all players get that experience,” Martens said.

Despite Barquin’s limited time on campus to practice with the team, Martens has no doubt in her mind that Barquin will be in the starting lineup in Iowa State’s first tournament next week, the Dick McGuire Invitational.

“They haven’t been my best golf days ever, but I think my game is coming,” Barquin said of her first week. “If I keep practicing, things will go the right away. I think I’m ready.”