ISU women’s golf pegs big goals short distances


Photo: Liz Ulrichson/Iowa State Daily

Sasikarn On-iam, a junior in Pre Liberal Studies, patiently watches as her opponent takes her turn at the Big 12 Golf Tournament on Sunday, April 21 at The Harvester.

Trey Alessio

With the team’s first regular season tournament fast approaching, the ISU women’s golf team has been practicing almost three and a half hours every day in anticipation.

The wait is almost over for the Cyclones as the team will spend Friday and Saturday at the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invite in Albuquerque, N.M.

In preparation for the event, Iowa State has been focusing heavily on wedge shots and the short distance game. It has also been hitting from the fairway and putting every day.

“Our goal is to have the best short game in the country,” said ISU coach Christie Martens. “If we can average below 30 putts and have at least one team round under par, it will put us in good position for this tournament.”

With strong goals in mind, the Cyclones have high expectations going into their first tournament of the season. They won the Dick McGuire/Branch Law Firm Invite last year with Prima Thammaraks and Sasikarn On-iam both shooting a score of 225.

Both seniors will be back and ready to perform at the highest level in Albuquerque this year.

“We’re going in expecting to win as a team,” Thammaraks said. “I think we’re really prepared and confident that we’ll do well.”

Martens feels the team has shown significant progress in the preseason with the seniors showing the “ISU way.”

Thammaraks sees herself as a big part of the leadership on the team. She is one of three seniors on this year’s team who have been leading by example and working together to lead her teammates in the preseason. The other seniors are On-iam and Katie Gustafson.

The underclassmen are taking advantage of the experience from the seniors and working hard to show what they have to bring to the table.

“The seniors have been helping me so much,” said freshman Carmen Vidau. “We’ve been working on short-distance shots, and I’m trying to improve my five and six-iron shots.”

Team chemistry has also been a focal point as the Cyclones prepare for this weekend.

“We’re all working hard and pushing each other,” On-iam said. “We’re all really close so that helps, too.”

Not only do many players want to improve physically their golf game, but they also would like to improve on the mental aspect as well.

“I’m trying to always have a positive attitude out there,” Thammaraks said.

Using preseason as warm-ups, the Iowa State believes it will be ready to play this weekend.

“We’ll see where we’re at with this first tournament and probably see some things we need to improve on,” Martens said. “Hopefully we can keep getting better every week.”

The team left for New Mexico on Wednesday, with the tournament running Friday and Saturday.