On-iam’s career-best performance unable to lift ISU women’s golf to title

Mike Randleman

In a tournament where more than 20,000 shots were struck, only one separated Iowa State from its first team victory since 2012.

Despite a career-best performance that earned senior Sasikarn On-iam a second-place finish, the No. 26 Cyclones also finished in second place behind No. 18 Northwestern at the Hurricane Invitational on March 5.

“I know that all my teammates gave it their all today so I’m really proud of them for hanging in there,” On-iam said. “Even though we still could have been better, I think we can take a lot of positives from this tournament and I learned a lot.”

The Cyclones entered the day with a three-shot lead over the Wildcats, but could not hang on for the victory. Northwestern posted two under-par rounds while Iowa State’s best score was a one-over-par round of 72 from Chonlada Chayanun.

Similar to how her team came up just short at the end, the same story applied to On-iam in the individual title race. On-iam led for much of the second and third round before Daniela Darquea birdied her final two holes to force a sudden-death playoff.

After the outright title was suddenly snatched away from On-iam, luck was not on her side in the playoff.

“I hit the first drive really good, but then it hit the cart path and went over the trees,” On-iam said.

After playing from a difficult lie near the trees, On-iam’s next shot ended up in a bush.

Even after her misfortune, On-iam was still able to salvage a bogie with a lengthy putt, but it was not enough. Darquea made a par-four to take medalist honors.

Although On-iam came up just short, she hopes her resilience showed in the playoff can inspire her teammates to keep fighting on the golf course.

Her coach, Christie Martens, said that she expects great things for On-iam for the rest of the season.

“We worked on a few different things this week and she really did an awesome job,” Martens said. “With her game, the sky’s really the limit for what she can do with it.”

Aside from On-iam, Chayanun also recorded a top-ten finish and made the fewest bogies of the team. Her tournament total of 215 was good for a tie for seventh place, matching her season-best finish.

Senior Prima Thammaraks was in danger of finishing outside the top 25 for the first time this season before posting two birdies in her final four holes to shoot a three-over-par round of 74. Thammaraks finished tied for 15th place with a tournament total of 218.

Cajsa Persson posted the team’s fourth and final qualifying score in round three with a four-over-par total of 75. With a tournament total of 221, the sophomore finished in a tie for 26th place.

Persson recorded three top-10 finishes out of four fall tournaments, but has yet to finisher higher than a tie for 22nd through three tournaments in the spring.

Freshman Carmen Vidau was Iowa State’s fifth starter, posting her second-lowest round of the season [73] in round one but could not follow it up. Vidau posted rounds of 80 and 78 to close the tournament and finished in a tie for 65th place.

Freshman Pimrawee Huang also competed for the Cyclones as an individual. Huang improved in each of her three rounds and posted rounds of 90, 82 and 79 to finish in 92nd-place.

The Cyclones will next compete at the Liz Murphey Invitational in Athens, Ga. on April 4-6.