European Ladies Amateur Champion Celia Barquin Murdered On Golf Course
Celia Barquin, the 2018 European Ladies Amateur Champion, has been murdered on a golf course in Iowa.
The 22-year-old Spaniard, from Puente San Miguel near Santander, was found dead at Coldwater Golf Links in Iowa after a golf bag was seen unattended on one of the holes.
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Her body was discovered on Monday morning in a pond by police with stab wounds to her head, neck and upper body.
A 22-year-old man has been charged with first-degree murder and appeared in court today, with authorities believing that he was homeless and committed the crime randomly.
Barquin, a supremely talented golfer, shot a course record 63 to win the European Ladies Amateur Championship less than two months ago.
She won by a single stroke at Penati Golf Resort in Slovakia.
Watch her winning putt below:
She ranked 44th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings and had been a member of the Spanish National Team since 2008.
She had already competed in the US Women’s Open and was due to play in next year’s Women’s British Open.
Celia attended Iowa State University where she was due to graduate with a degree in civil engineering.
Iowa State head women’s golf coach Christie Martens said, “We are all devastated.
“Celia was a beautiful person who was loved by all her teammates and friends. She loved Iowa State and was an outstanding representative for our school.
“We will never forget her competitive drive to be the best and her passion for life.”
Barquin was named Iowa State’s Female Athlete of the Year in June and also won the 2018 Big 12 Championship individual title, a huge event in the US collegiate callendar.
Iowa State’s athletics director, Jamie Pollard, said: “Celia had an infectious smile, a bubbly personality and anyone fortunate enough to know her was blessed.”
The university said Barquin “was one of the most accomplished players in Cyclone golf history.”
Nacho Gervás from the Spanish Golf Federation told El País newspaper that Barquin “was a player who was heading for the very top, without a doubt.”
She was also likely to play in next year’s inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
The LET pays tribute:
The Estrella Damm Mediterranean Ladies Open at Club de Golf Terramar in Sitges, near Barcelona this week and players will wear black ribbons as a mark of respect to Celia Barquin and will honour her with minute silences during the Tuesday evening function, Pro-Am prize giving presentations and at midday during the first round.
Fellow Spaniard Azahara Muñoz, said: “It’s almost surreal and so hard. I mean, how did that even happen? Everything can change in a day and sometimes you complain about the stupidest things.”
Florentyna Parker, the defending champion this week, commented: “It’s a horrible thing to happen. I think all of us have been on a golf course alone at some point and to think that someone has purposely gone on to a golf course to assault and kill a female golfer is horrendous.
“It’s shocking to think that would happen and obviously very sad and awful. It will make everyone feel more vulnerable now. Hopefully it’s a one off and will never happen again. Golf courses are usually out of town and a bit remote but there is usually some access. I am shocked.”