Celia Barquin Arozamena had qualified for the 2018 US Women’s Open
A US man has been charged with the murder of Celia Barquin Arozamena after the top amateur golfer was found dead at a golf course in Iowa last night.
Police were called to Coldwater Golf Links in Ames “after players coming round the course found an abandoned bag lying apparently discarded on the ground”, says The Independent.
Iowa State University student Barquin Arozamena’s body was then discovered “some distance” from the bag, detectives said in a statement.
Collin Daniel Richards, 22, was charged with first-degree murder hours later. According to ABC News, police did not say how they had “connected Richards to the case, and a cause of death has not been determined”.
Ames Police Department said that Barquin Arozamena appeared to have been assaulted.
She had been due to finish her civil engineering degree this term, and was recently named Iowa State Female Athlete of the Year.
Paying tribute to Barquin Arozamena today, Iowa State’s athletics director, Jamie Pollard, described her “infectious smile” and “bubbly personality”.
Originally from Puente San Miguel in Spain, Barquin Arozamena’s amateur golfing career “reached its highest point when she won the European Ladies Amateur Championship less than two months before her death”, says the BBC.
Her European win “had secured her an invitation to the professional Women’s British Open next year at Woburn, and she also qualified for the professional 2018 US Women’s Open”, the news site reports.
Ranked as the 69th best amateur women’s golfer in the US by Golfweek, she was only the third Iowa State University women’s golfer to compete in the US Women’s Open.
Nacho Gervas, technical director of the Spanish Golf Federation, told Spain’s El Pais newspaper: “She was a player who was heading for the very top, without a doubt.”