Women’s golf back on course for 2010 season

Dan Martin

After a summer of eager anticipation, the ISU women’s golf team is finally back on the course to compete.

The team has high hopes as well as high expectations this season, following a fourth-place finish in the Big 12 last year. The Cyclones quickly proved that they had lost no momentum as they took second out of 17 teams in the season-opening Wolverine Invitational in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Sept. 11 and 12.

Coach Christie Martens is happy to be back at the helm this year and hopes the team can pick up where it left off.

Martens would like to see the team place even better in the Big 12 this season and, ideally, make it the coveted NCAA Championships.

She is confident from what she saw from the players in the season opener.

“We saw a lot of good things that they’ve been working on this summer that’s going to help them during the season,” Martens said. “They’ve improved and learned a lot and just more experience for all of them. I think it’s going to be a good year.”

All the girls on the team are very dedicated to improving individually every day. The girls must balance their class schedule and homework with the 20 hours of practice a week. The team consists of 11 members, but only the top five at the time compete in the tournaments.

Sophomore Punpaka Phuntumabamrung and junior Kristin Paulson were the Cyclones’ top two placers in their opening tournament in Ann Arbor.

Phuntumabamrung finished in the top 10 of all competitors for the second time in two years with a sixth-place finish, and Paulson placed 18th. 

The girls can credit this success largely due to their hard work over the summer, in which Phuntumabamrung won the A-Class Open in Thailand, and Paulson won the Iowa Women’s Amateur by a convincing four shots.

Both girls remain humble despite their individual success. “Helping the team make it to nationals” is on the top of their to-do list.

The team has 12 more tournaments this year. Next up is the Mary Fossum Invitational in East Lansing, Mich., on Saturday and Sunday.

After that, the Cyclones will head to Chicago for the Windy City Collegiate Classic on Oct. 4 and 5. Then, on Oct. 11 and 12, Iowa State will compete in the Lady Northern tournament in Chicago, where in-state rival Iowa will also compete.

Martens is ready for matchup with the Hawkeyes.

“Obviously, every time we play the Hawkeyes it’s going to be exciting,” Martens said. “Unlike other sports, it’s not a head-to-head competition because we will be playing against the whole field. I hope we can play well in the tournament, and hopefully that includes beating the Hawkeyes.”