Senior’s strong showing helps women’s golf to top five finish

Mike Randleman

Walking off her final hole at the Mountainview Collegiate, Chonlada Chayanun had a feeling her efforts fell just short.

When the senior three-putted for bogie on her 54th and final hole, she was unaware of her exact standing on the leaderboard, but her intuition indicated an opportunity for victory was lost.

“The last hole was pretty bad. I’m really sad now, basically,” Chayanun said stoically. “I just knew when I was done that I was leading but then I three-putted the last hole, so I lost that one.”

After leading for much of the second and third rounds, the ill-timed bogie dropped her to six-under-par and one shot off the individual lead.

While she was unable to top the field, Chayanun finished as low Cyclone en route to No. 25/27 (Golfstat/Golfweek) Iowa State finishing in fifth place out of 20 teams competing at the Mountain View golf course in Tucson, Ariz.

“She’s just amazing,” said teammate Celia Barquin. “When she is just playing good and birdies just one or two holes, she gets so confident, she doesn’t quit any shots. She doesn’t make any bogies.”

Barquin exaggerated in saying Chayanun does not make any bogies, but not by much.

Chayanun only had six blemishes on her scorecard in 54 holes with no holes of double bogie or worse.

She also found herself in the top five in par-3, par-4 and par-5 scoring on the week.

Reflecting on the catalyst for her high finish, as well as for her hopes to recover from missing out on a win, Chayanun said it has and will be her mindset that carries her.

“Every time I play a tournament, I have a feeling that I’m going to win the tournament or I’m going to play great,” Chayanun said. “I don’t carry bad things to the next tournament.”

Another golfer with realistic expectations to win tournaments is her teammate, Barquin, who was ranked No. 41 in Golfweek’s March 19 NCAA women’s individual rankings and is just ahead of No. 44 Chayanun.

The freshman was never in serious contention for medalist honors, but she moved nine spots up the leaderboard in the final round with a two-under-par 70 to finish at two-under for the tournament and in a tie for 10th place.

Her scores of 72, 72 and 70 exemplified consistency, but Barquin said missed opportunities in the first round and a balky putter stood in the way of a good week being great.

“[In] the first round, my score was even [par] and I feel like I should have been five-under,” Barquin said. I missed five really, really short putts. “Overall, I mean it was a good result, but I should have made more putts.”

Though one of the shorter-hitting players in the field, the par 5s were what kept Barquin afloat.

She co-led the field of 105 golfers in par-5 scoring, playing the 12 par 5s on the week at Mountain View Golf Club in seven-under-par.

With four tournaments under wraps in the spring season, the Cyclones have three weeks separating them from their final regular season event, the Dallas Athletic Club/Southern Methodist Invitational on April 10 and 11 in Dallas, Texas.