Women’s golf makes statement in first 3 tournaments

Dan Martin

The ISU women’s golf team has gotten off to a better start than it could have imagined.

The team returned home from a three-day expedition to Chicago, where it competed in the Windy City Collegiate Classic; the team’s second-place performance is its second top-three finish so far this season. The season is only three tournaments in.

This success has been achieved through a combination of hard work by players and dedication from the coaches.

Coach Christie Martens has been coaching the team for seven years, and has helped turn the program into a major power player in the Big 12. She loves seeing the team put it all together on the course, as it did in Chicago.

The Cyclones started off strong and never looked back.

“It was a real team effort. We played great, and it was a lot of fun to watch everyone improve and hold their rounds together,” Martens said. “It seems likes sometimes we let rounds get away from us after a good start, but this time we stayed tough and kept it together.”

The team finished seven strokes behind first-place Purdue, but secured second place comfortably, besting third-place Texas Tech by eight stokes.

The team’s ability to stay focused and confident was a major component of its top-three finish.

“From top to bottom of the lineup, it was just great play,” Martens said. “A lot of them got over the hump and made a few birdies to finish off strong. We beat a lot of good teams.”

One of the best scenes from the Collegiate Classic was the play of ISU true freshman Prima Thammaraks. She was in first place after two rounds of play, and finished in second place overall.

“[Thammaraks] was tremendous.” Martens said. “To be in the hunt and to almost win was awesome and really exciting. I was really impressed. I walked with her the whole time. The shots she has the ability to hit and her ball control is amazing. She’s only a freshman, I can’t wait to see what she can do it the coming years.”

Thammaraks traveled overseas from Bangkok, Thailand, to play at Iowa State. She is making a name for herself early on and is well on her way to being considered among the elite collegiate golfers.

Her play alone would not have resulted in a second-place team finish, though, which is where the depth of Iowa State’s golf team comes into play.

The roster is full of depth and talented players. Also placing well for the Cyclones were Laurence Herman, Victoria Stefansen, Punpaka Phuntumabamrung and Kristen Paulson. ISU teammate Sasikarn On-iam competed individually and shot well too.

Despite their early successes, the Cyclones refuse to get too confident. They will continue to practice and perfect their game.

“We always continue to focus on the short game, wedging and putting,” Martens said. “Our up-and-down [shooting from off the green and finishing the hole in the next two strokes] percentage is really good nationally, but we can continue to improve. We want to be one of the best in the country.”

The team’s next challenges come Monday and Tuesday when it heads to Illinois to compete in the Lady Northern tournament.