Iowa State women’s golf team excited after another top-5 finish

Dan Martin

Excitement is in the air around the ISU women’s golf team. The team just returned from the Lady Northern Invite where it finished in fourth place. This fourth-place finish is the fourth consecutive top-five finish for the Cyclones of the 2010 season, which is only four tournaments in.

The team started off a little bit shaky during Monday morning’s first round. It found itself in seventh place. With two more rounds to go, the Cyclones needed to step their game up quickly.

The team battled back in the second round shooting a 294 to move into sixth place at the end of day one. The third round kicked off Tuesday morning where Iowa State found it’s best shots of the tournament. A closing 289 shot them up to fourth place overall.

“We were a little disappointed after the first round, but then we came back with a strong second round which was awesome to see,” said coach Christie Martens. “We were really proud especially of the way they finished. The last round 289 was really good. That’s really where we wanted to be.”

Martens said she talked to the team a bit after the first round, but she knew that they knew what had to be done.

“We talked about it, but it was just where they all saw themselves and where they wanted to end up,” Martens said. “We liked the golf course and started to hit better shots. We set goals for the team going in that we wanted to meet.”

There were a total of 12 teams at Lady Northern. The tournament is often called the Big Ten Preview, as 10 of the 11 Big Ten Conference teams were playing.

The 2009 national champions, No. 6 Purdue, won the tournament. Northwestern took second and Ohio State reeled in third.

The Cyclones’ top-two shooters for the tournament were Laurence Herman and Punpaka Phuntumabamrung, whose total 146 put them in a three-way tie for seventh place.

“That was exciting, Herman has played great the past few tournaments, it’s really exciting to have good play by her every week,” Martens said. “She’s been really excited to play, which is awesome. She just worked hard at it and has just been really excited about going to these tournaments. So she’s just been doing great.

“The same for [Phuntumabamrung]. When she feels confident, she’s going to play well. They both just have really solid games, and are just great players. We’re just really, really, fortunate and excited about what they’ve been able to accomplish so far.”

A Thailand native, Phuntumabamrung has proven herself to be one of the Big 12’s top players in her sophomore season at Iowa State. This was her third top-10 performance of the season.

Also playing for the Cyclones was Kristin Paulson (218), Sasikarn On-Iam (223), Victoria Stefansen (230) and Prima Thammaraks (232).

The squad is very excited with what it has been able to accomplish this year. Martens knew coming into the season that the team had the potential to be good and is glad that they are putting it all together when it counts.

“It’s where we saw ourselves, but it’s exciting to accomplish and do what you set it out to do. We’re glad we are not wishing we were there but not accomplishing it.”

With only the Challenge At Onion Creek in Austin, Texas, on November 1 and 2 yet to play this fall, Iowa State is already gearing up for winter practice so they can come out ready for fall competition. The top goal for Martens and players is to make to the National Championships.

“We have a really good team this year that can accomplish a lot of exciting things,” Martens said.