European golf champion murdered in Iowa

Collin Daniel Richards has been charged with murder only hours after rising Spanish golfer Celia Barquín Arozamena was found dead on a golf course in Iowa, USA. Aged just 22, Barquín won the European Ladies Amateur Championship in Slovakia this July after shooting a course-record 63.

She was found by police at the Coldwater Golf Links in Ames after golfers discovered an unattended golf bag on the course early Monday morning and alerted authorities. A police report determined that Barquín had died following an assault.

Originally from Spain, she came to the United States to study Civil Engineering and became a rising talent in the amateur golf world. Her university, Iowa State had named her Female Athlete of the Year and said the following about her passing: “Celia had an infectious smile, a bubbly personality and anyone fortunate enough to know her was blessed. Our Cyclone (team nickname) family mourns the tragic loss of Celia, a spectacular student-athlete and ISU ambassador.”

Her victory in the European Championship allowed her the opportunity to break into professional golf with invitations to the British and US Opens next year. Nacho Gervás, a technical director for the Spanish Golf Federation, said to El País newspaper: “She was a player who was heading for the very top, without a doubt.”

Barquín was part of the Spanish team that achieved a second and third place finish in the European Amateur Team Championships in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Ranked number 69 nationally by magazine Golfweek, she also became the second women’s golfer in Iowa State history to earn a medal at a conference tournament when she claimed the 2018 Big 12 Championship in April.

ISU’s head women’s golf coach Christie Martens said Barquín was “loved by all her teammates and friends” and was an “outstanding representative of our school.”

“We will never forget her competitive drive to be the best and her passion for life.”

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