Trio of golfers lead ISU women’s golf to third place in Florida

Mike Randleman

It may not have been the complete team performance the ISU women’s golf team has been searching for, but it was a step in the right direction.

A trio of Cyclones were in medalist contention in the final round en route to No. 25/30 (Golfstat/Golfweek) Iowa State finishing in third place out of 16 teams at the Miami Hurricane Invitational.

At 16-over-par for the event, Iowa State finished nine shots behind a No. 8 Northwestern team that has been a thorn in the side of Iowa State, finishing ahead of the Cyclones in four of five events.

Celia Barquin and Chonlada Chayanun led the team once again by tying for second place and tying for sixth place, respectively, but freshman Nattapan Siritrai also emerged for a team that has found inconsistency in its third through fifth spots in the lineup.

“She played pretty good this tournament, but today I think she struggled a little bit with her putting,” Chayanun said of Siritrai’s final round of 75. “I saw her miss a couple short putts, but overall she played way better than last tournament. I’ve seen her improve.”

That improvement nearly resulted in Siritrai’s second top-10 finish this season as she tied for 11th place at four-over-par, five shots behind champion Tiffany Chan of Daytona State.

Just as Siritrai entered the final round with a chance at victory, so did Barquin and Chayanun.

Chayanun was tied for fourth with Siritrai at day’s beginning and ascended to a tie for first place before a trying closing stretch dropped her down to a tie for sixth place and three shots from the top.

“I played bad the last three holes,” Chayanun said. “I finished bogie, double-[bogie], par. That was pretty frustrating. I didn’t know that I was leading until I finished, then I was kind of mad a little bit.”

Although Chayanun had a chance to earn her second consecutive victory following her first collegiate win at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic on Feb. 17, she said her demeanor on the course was unchanged and opted to avoid scrutinizing where she stood on the leaderboard.

“I stay the same, I don’t have any pressure on me at all for this week,” Chayanun said. “I was just trying to do my best. Trying to do the same that I’ve been doing.”

While Chayanun made it a goal to carry on the success that has found her in medalist contention in three consecutive tournaments, Barquin has used Chayanun’s success as motivation to find the winner’s circle, as well.

“That was kind of a motivation,” Barquin said of seeing Chayanun win in Puerto Rico. “I practice with her every day and we all play against each other in practice. Sometimes she wins, sometimes I win. So if she can win a tournament, I can win too.”

Barquin and the rest of the Cyclones will have their next chance for a win at the Mountainview Collegiate in Tucson, Ariz. on March 20.