Phuntumabamrung begins final season as Cyclone


Sophomore Punpaka Phuntumabamrung surveys the putting green in anticipation of her next shot.

Kristin Peterson

Punpaka “Bo” Phuntumabamrung is beginning her fourth season on the ISU women’s golf team as the only senior.

Phuntumabamrung came to Iowa State from Thailand in order to have the opportunity to join the golf team. She chose Iowa State after meeting ISU coach Christie Martens at a junior golf tournament in California and discussing the recruiting process.

“My first impression of coach was good; she was so nice,” Phuntumabamrung said about meeting Martens for the first time. “Coming to Iowa State was a good decision. The team and coaches are very supportive and there are just not as many opportunities in Thailand compared to here.”

As Phuntumabamrung looks ahead to the upcoming season, she said she has goals of victory for herself personally and the team.

“My goal is to win tournaments individually and, in group play, to win tournaments,” Phuntumabamrung said. 

She believes she has a team capable of bringing those wins.

“We’ve got a very good team this year and a good new freshman,” Phuntumabamrung said.

Teammate Prima Thammaraks said she has a “strong positive mindset towards the team.”

To achieve her goals for the upcoming season, Phuntumabamrung is all about focus.

“I am going to just focus on golf, give it everything I can and do my best in every tournament,” Phuntumabamrung said.

Despite the focus towards golf, Thammaraks said she tends to enjoy having fun on the course as well.

“She always jokes around and laughs,” Thammaraks said. “She’s really funny.”

As the only senior on the team, Martens is anxious to see what the coming year will bring for Phuntumabamrung.

“We are looking forward to some great golf from her this fall,” Martens said.

Her teammate had a similar praise of “Bo.” 

“I’ve seen some amazing playing from her; I’m excited to see how this year goes,” Thammaraks said.

Phuntumabamrung, after completing her time playing for Iowa State, has considered the option of going pro either in the United States or back in Thailand.

“Last year, she had a great season and came on really strong,” Martens said, who also noted that Phuntumabamrung has “already won her first qualifier this year.”

With the added experience compared to many members of the team, she helps out her teammates on the course.

“She’s not one of those types of seniors that says do this or do that. She just helps us out and shows us what we need to do,” Thammaraks said. “I think she will be a good leader and help to motivate us [this season].”

With Iowa State hosting the Big 12 Championship this spring, this year could create many opportunities for this senior.

“I’m really looking forward to the Big 12 tournament in the spring, since we host the tournament,” Phuntamabamrung said. “We will do everything we can to prepare for that and to know the course.”