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Three Big Takeaways: Iowa State opens in 13th at Stanford Intercollegiate

Collin Maguire/[email protected]
Iowa State women’s golf head coach Christie Martens (left) discusses a chipping drill with then-junior Taglao Jeeravivitaporn (right). Martens has led 21 different Cyclones to 46 All-Big 12 honors throughout her coaching career at Iowa State.

The Cyclone women’s golf team made the long trip to the west coast for the Stanford Intercollegiate. Iowa State finished the opening day in 13th place out of 19 teams.

The tournament opened on Friday and will conclude on Sunday.

To that point, the Cyclones turned in three prior fall appearances and walked out with three lower-half finishes. Walking into their final fall season tournament, the team looked to make a big statement to cap off the season.

The Stanford Intercollegiate opened with an initiative for each team, as the teams showed up with a purpose: #PlayForHer.

PlayForHer is an ongoing cause where collegiate golfers attempt to attain birdies in play. Each birdie raised funds that are then used for breast cancer research. This year’s tournament and movement were dedicated to California women’s golf coach, Nancy McDaniel. Through the charity and donations, the money is then directly moved to Dr. Hope Rugo at UC San Francisco, who is McDaniel’s oncologist.

Hot start

The Cyclones were not shy when it came to the first round on Friday. The team had been able to observe the rest of the field as one of the last teams to begin play.

The saying, “save the best for last,” rang true as the team came out in top form. In fact, the beginning of the first round may have been their best performance of their four fall tournaments.

By the ninth hole, Iowa State was hot, landing themselves in a tie for fifth place alongside Northwestern. Sophomore Karisa Chul-Ak-Sorn also found herself tied for ninth place overall.

Perhaps their 18-day break between playing at the Stanford Intercollegiate and the prior Windy City Classic in Chicago was just the piece the golfers needed to really show out.

Solid finish

The second half was not as hot as the opening nine holes, but that is not to say that the Cyclones were disappointed in any way. Though they fell from fifth, the golfers were not letting their first round end without a challenge.

They continued to play just as hard as they had prior and pulled out a performance arguably above the rest of the fall tournaments. If day one is a sign of their weekend performances, the Cyclones could be in play for the best finish of their season. Day one ended with the team in 13th, but the team could be in for a rise in the standings.

This was especially apparent, considering the team they had been tied with for over half the tournament, Northwestern, found themselves in the top five. If the golfers can pull out a full round of their performances of early Friday, the sky becomes the limit for the team.

Consistency, yet again

Where so many teams have failed, the Cyclone women’s golf team are still looking for some consistency.

Chul-Ak-Sorn was at the top of her game as always and has shown no signs of slowing down. She found herself tied for 10th, which would rank as her highest finish during the season if she maintained it.

Behind her, freshman Keeley Marx, sophomore Pammy Chookaew and senior Tess Blair found themselves in a heated battle for 61st place. Their round one score of 75 was five strokes behind Chul-Ak-Sorn’s 70, which made the field ultra-competitive.

Senior Liyana Durisic was eight strokes lower at a score of 78 and was placed in a tie for 85th. These are very reminiscent of the finishes from all five women throughout their tournaments thus far, but they would all find themselves in the running for season-best finishes.

The aforementioned #PlayForHer initiative is accepting donations that will act as sponsors for each birdie made by the golfers. Donors are able to participate as a sponsor for each birdie or make a flat donation to the cause.

The Cyclones will return to action Saturday, and finish on Sunday. The Stanford Intercollegiate also concludes the fall golf season. The team will return to action, opening their spring season on Feb. 4 at the UCF Challenge in Orlando.

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