ISU women’s golf hoping to rebound at Hurricane Invitational

Mike Randleman

Still looking for its first title of the year, the No. 25 ISU women’s golf team will have an opportunity to break through at the Hurricane Invitational.

In a field of 18 teams, Iowa State will be the second-highest ranked team, only behind No. 18 Northwestern.

This week’s field will not be as menacing as the Cyclones’ last tournament in Puerto Rico, which featured five top-25 teams, but will provide challenges in its own right.

One aspect the team has focused on in practice has been damage control. Avoiding a big number on the scorecard has been a point of emphasis for ISU coach Christie Martens and her team.

“We made a lot of birdies, which is positive, but we had too many big numbers, it was hard to recover from those big numbers,” Martens said.

At Puerto Rico, only nine shots separated ninth place from third. Martens said the difference in finishing in the middle of the pack and near the top lies in eliminating compounded mistakes.

“You have to be able to make decisions to allow you to salvage bogie or par instead of letting one bad swing turn into a big number,” Martens said.

The key for senior Sasikarn On-iam will be to spread positivity with her teammates when things don’t go the team’s way on the course.

“I want to be able to pump myself up when something goes wrong, when a bad shot happens,” On-iam said. “I still want to refocus as fast as I can and also encourage my teammates when I see them being down on the golf course.”

For senior Prima Thammaraks, staying focused one shot at a time will be the key to cut down on the big numbers that negated her team-leading 15 birdies in Puerto Rico.

“I made a lot of doubles (double-bogies) and big numbers last tournament,” Thammaraks said. “I think it had a little to do with the course and how it sets up, but also I just have to focus back on my mental (approach) and be able to refocus quicker instead of focusing hole-by-hole, focus shot-by-shot.”

Iowa State will compete in the Hurricane Invitational for the first time under Martens, which means a new course for the team to learn in its practice round on Sunday.

“I’ve been to the course for recruiting quite a bit, but it’s the first year we’ve played in it as a team,” Martens said. “I think it should be a pretty good test. There’s some good teams there, some mid-level teams. I think it should be a pretty good event for us.”

The Hurricane Invitational will be held March 3 through 5 at the Biltmore Golf Course.