Women’s golf team holds high hopes for Big 12 Championships

Erik Hendricks

All year, the ISU women’s golf team has dedicated itself to playing at its highest level going into the Big 12 Championships.

It has shown that with a second and third place finish in its last two tournaments, but coach Christie Martens said there is always room for improvement.

“We have had a really good month of preparation [for the Big 12 Championships],” Martens said. “We have been practicing in some tough conditions, which is really good to practice in.”

This week’s preparation has been different for the team than any other tournament it has played in. The main focus was not only on putting and chipping but the different style of play it will face at the tournament in Lawrence, Kan.

“There are going to be more hills and trees,” Martens said. “We have been mainly working on higher shots, approach shots and on our flight trajectory.”

Not only will this tournament be different for the team because of the course, but this will also include all Big 12 schools. There will be some that Iowa State has not yet seen this year.

“It is hard to say if anyone will have a major advantage at this tournament,” Martens said. “We are all very close. There are seven teams who are within 15 places of each other in rankings.”

Martens said it will be very interesting to see who gets off to a good start right away in the first couple rounds of the tournament.

Although the team is focused on practicing the different kind of shots it will have to face, individually, the players are still focused on things they need to fix or practice in their own game.

“For me, I have been working on my approach shots,” said junior Punpaka Phuntumabamrung. “I also have been working on putting because the green will be different than the last tournament we were at.”

The team had placed a goal at the beginning of the year to win the Big 12 Championships, and with it playing well, it will have a chance to achieve that goal.

“As a team, I think we really have a chance to either win or get close,” Phuntumabamrung said. “We just need to play more consistent [each round].”

Iowa State will begin the Big 12 Championships on Friday and will conclude Sunday.