New season for ISU women’s golf tees off Monday

Kristin Peterson

With the season’s first competition looming, the ISU women’s golf team is eager to face its rivals. The season kicks off this Monday at the Branch Law/Dick McGuire Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M.

”It’s always fun to get the year started off and see where we stack up compared to other teams,” said coach Christie Martens.

This tournament is hosted by New Mexico and is located at the Championship Golf Course in Albuquerque. This is the 33rd year the tournament will take place at this venue.

This tournament will give the Cyclones a chance to compare themselves to 15 other teams that also play in the tournament.

Despite the familiar location, Martens is not sure what competition will bring, but she has noticed the strength of a few competitors. 

“Ohio State is continually a good team and Northwestern is pretty strong — they’ve been predicted as a surprise team this year,” Martens said. “Also, TCU is new to the conference this year. … There are pretty strong teams here, overall.”

This team consists of veteran players as well as new freshman member, Cajsa Persson.

“I’m excited to see how we are going to do as a team,” said junior golfer Punpaka Phuntumabamrung.

Phuntumabamrung, who competed last year at this same invitational, is glad to have a familiar course on her side.

“Four of us, other than our one freshman, have played this course before, so we know the course,” she said. “We can learn from last year.”

Many magazines and reviews recognize the Championship Golf Course as one of the finest golf courses in the nation.

“Our course is special, not just for the location — being in New Mexico, people can play here nearly all year round — but also just the level of difficulty on this course is greater than many courses,” said Isaac Pacheco, employee at the Championship Golf Course. “Some of the greatest golfers that ever played have played here on this course.”

As the ISU women’s golf team starts the season, they hope to glimpse into how the rest of the season will be.

“As the first tournament, it’s good to get that gauge of the competition and see where we stack up,” Martens said.

Phuntumabamrung hopes to find the team and herself in good shape for the competition.

“I’m looking forward to the tournament and playing well,” she said.

This invitational will span Monday and Tuesday of this week. The players, coaches and course make ready for the season ahead.

“We are very excited to once again be hosting this tournament,” Pacheco said. “Many coaches have already come in. The coach [from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas,] said today that they never miss this tournament; not only for the great competition and golf but also just for the overall environment.”