Thammaraks continues competing in the offseason


Women’s Golf — Thammaraks

Darrin Cline

It may be the offseason, but many ISU athletes are still working to maintain their competitive edge. Prima Thammaraks is one of these such athletes making the most of her summer opportunities.

The Cyclone golfer made her way to the windy coast of Dandon, Ore. to battle in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship.

“In the beginning I wasn’t going to go because I didn’t want to miss my summer school. I talked to my sister and she helped me figure everything out,” said Thammaraks. “She said, ‘How do you know you are going to qualify next year?’ and asked me why I wasn’t going when I had the opportunity. She told me to just go and have fun, and I’m glad I went because I learned a lot from this tournament.”

Despite her early reservations about competing, Thammaraks competed stroke for stroke with some of the premier amateur players in the nation. With two rounds of stroke play completed, Thammaraks stood alone in 18th place, ten strokes behind then-leader Cheyenne Wood.

The unique layout of the tournament posed an additional challenge. After two rounds of stroke play, the top 64 players advanced to the match play tournament. Following the stroke play level, Thammaraks led eventual champion Brianna Do of UCLA by four strokes.

“I have been working on my swing for a while, and I feel like I got everything put back together by the tournament. My swing worked really well. It’s really bumpy and windy so you have to hit a lot of knockdown shots and hope it rolls down the green,” Thammaraks said. 

In the opening round of match play, the Cyclone faced off against Vaishavi Sinha of Purdue. Thammaraks pulled away with a 5-and-4 victory, before toppling 15th seeded Joanne Lee, 1 up.

Thammaraks’s hot streak came to an end later that same afternoon in the round of 16. Marissa Dodd, the 31st seed, rolled to her second straight upset, with a 2-up win over Thammaraks. Dodd would go on to be tournament runner-up.

The rugged, windswept terrain of the Old MacDonald course added another mental challenge. Old MacDonald is a young course that is already infamous for its forbidding hole layouts. To help her deal with these obstacles, Thammaraks brought along her secret weapon: her caddy Punpaka Phuntumabamrung.

“She’s on the team and she caddied for me at the tournament and she helped a lot. She and I have different styles of play, and sometimes she sees something I don’t see, and I see things she doesn’t see. So having her on the bag really helped fulfill my game, especially in the match play,” Thammaraks said.

Thammaraks was not the only Iowa State linkster in contention. Beth Wagner, Abbie Horan and Kristin Paulson each battled in the stroke play round, but failed to make the cut.

Though her performance cannot be considered a failure, Thammaraks knows she’ll be capable of better once she finds her groove.

“I don’t think I was really prepared. I had a hard time getting myself out to the golf course this summer. I don’t feel like I was prepared. I feel like I need to work out more to play better,” Thammaraks said.