Women’s golf team finishes fourth at Dale McNamara Invitational

Mark Schafer

It will be a short week for the ISU women’s golf team. After finishing fourth at the Dale McNamara Invitational in Tulsa, Okla., the team will travel to New Mexico for the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational in Albuquerque.

The fourth-place finish was a strong showing for the team considering how it started the weekend. After trailing the first round and finishing the round in 10th, the team was able to climb in the standings to fourth after the second round, where it would finish the tournament.

“We made up some ground after the first round, but didn’t move up after that,” said assistant coach Pina Gentile. “We learned some things that we could improve on for the rest of the year.”

The Cyclones were led by freshman Chonlada Chayanun, who hails from Bangkok, Thailand. She finished the tournament in a tie for ninth place with 221 strokes.

“[Chayanun] is a wonderful addition to the team,” Gentile said. “She has already been fun to watch.”

Also among the top leaders for the Cyclones were sophomore Prima Thammaraks, who finished in 14th place overall with 222 strokes. Senior Kristin Paulson was one stroke behind Thammaraks; with 223 strokes, she finished in a tie for 15th.

After the first tournament there is room for improvement, and the Cyclones plan to keep in touch with their goals moving forward, Gentile said.

“Our goal, at the end of the year is to make it to nationals, and you don’t get there after the first tournament,” Gentile said. “We need to keep building on what we accomplished and move forward with new goals every week.”

The tournament featured many Big 12 schools that the Cyclones will be competing against during the spring. Oklahoma State won the tournament and was the only school from the Big 12 that finished inside the top five beside Iowa State.

With the first tournament out of the way, the team now shifts its focus to the next tournament.

It may be a short week, but that was not what the team was focusing on, said sophomore Sasikarn On-iam.

“We didn’t focus on [next week], just on the round we were playing that day,” On-iam said.

After the tournament was over, the Cyclones shifted focus to the next, the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational, that starts just three days after the last one ended.

Because of that, the team needs to not only focus on school, but golf as well, Gentile said.

“We don’t want to take too much time away from school, so we will bring the players that are ready to play next week,” Gentile said. “They are student-athletes and still need to go to school.”

Before this weekend, the Cyclones were ranked No. 21 in the Golfweek poll and No. 26 by Golf World/NGCA poll. Both spots will likely stay the same since the Cyclones are playing preseason tournaments, and the season starts in the spring.

The next tournament for the Cyclones will only be a two-day tournament, unlike last week’s that lasted three rounds.