The Iowa State women’s golf team will be trying to do something it’s never done before. Win a Big 12 championship.
The Cyclones will host the conference championship – for the first time since 2001 – at The Harvester in Rhodes, Iowa this weekend.
Six of the NCAA’s Top 30 schools are in the field.
Oklahoma (#4) is followed by a quintet of schools (Oklahoma State, 17th; Texas Tech 20th; Texas, 21st; Baylor, 23rd; and Iowa State, 28th) in a tightly bunched cluster.
Along with the home course familiarity (ISU practices at The Harvester on occasion), the Cyclones boast a talented and deep team.
Five different ISU players – Sasikarn On-iam (three times), Punpaka Phuntumabamrung (twice), Prima Thammaraks (once), Chonlada Chayanun (once) and freshman Cajsa Persson (once) – have posted the team’s lowest score in a tournament this year. That kind of balance can play large in a tight race.
Four of the Cyclones are natives of Thailand. That country also produced Oklahoma’s Chirapat Jao-Janavil, the reigning NCAA champion, who is in the field.
Iowa State’s only league championship in women’s golf came at Lincoln, Neb., in 1993.
Maybe, a little home cooking, course familiarity and northern climate can be deciding factors as the Cyclones embark on trying to win their first Big 12 title this weekend in Central Iowa.