Spanish golfer found dead at US course | News | DW | 18.09.2018
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Spanish golfer found dead at US course

A 22-year-old man has been charged with the murder of Celia Barquin Arozamena at an Iowa golf course. Iowa State University mourned the loss, calling her an "acclaimed golfer with a bright future."

Spanish golfer Celia Barquin Arozamena was found dead Monday morning at a golf course in the US state of Iowa. The 22-year-old woman was an accomplished university athlete. She was the 2018 golf champion in the Big 12 league and Female Athlete of the Year at Iowa State University.

Police in the city of Ames were called to the Coldwater Golf Links course around 10:20 a.m. on Monday, after golfers found an equipment bag with no one around it. Barquin Arozamena's body was found some distance from the bag. Officers said she had been assaulted and repeatedly stabbed.

A 22-year-old man has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with her death, police said. 

The criminal complaint said the suspect was homeless and living in a tent near the golf course. The man allegedly told an acquaintance that he had an "urge to rape and kill a woman."

Officers said a knife was recovered from the suspect. He had several scratches on his face and a deep laceration on his left hand, police said.

An acclaimed golfer at Iowa State

A native of Puente San Miguel, Spain, Barquin Arozamena was finishing her civil engineering degree at the time of her death, having exhausted her eligibility to play golf at Iowa State in 2017-2018.

Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen said in a statement on Twitter that she was "deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death" of Barquin Arozamena and described her as a "dedicated civil engineering student" and an "acclaimed golfer with a bright future."

She was ranked 69 nationally by Golfweek and had ended her career at Iowa State with a fourth-straight NCAA Regional appearance. Barquin Arozamena was one of the most accomplished players in Iowa State's golf history, the university said.

She was the third female golfer in the university's history to compete in the US Women's Open Championship.

Head women's golf coach Christie Martens said in a statement that Barquin Arozamena 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," Martens said. Upon learning the news, the women's golf team withdrew from a tournament to return to Iowa to mourn the loss of their teammate.

A memorial for Barquin Arozamena in Cantabria Spain (Imago/Agencia EFE/P. P. Hoyos)

Residents in Puente San Miguel gathered to mourn Celia Barquin Arozamena

'Tragedy for Spanish sports'

The president of the Spanish National Sports Council, Maria Jose Rienda, said that the loss of Barquin Arozamena was "a big tragedy for the world of sports."

"She was a young promise," Rienda said. Culture and Sports Minister Jose Guirao echoed the sentiments. "This year she had won the European Ladies' Amateur Championship, her loss leaves us broken," Guirao said.

jcg/msh (EFE, AFP, AP)

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