golf

Iowa State's Nattapan Siritrai uses time to get in practice at the Cyclones Golf Performance Center.

Iowa State's men's golf kicked off its spring season last week and now it is the women's turn. Head coach Christie Martens will bring her squad to Orlando, Florida, to compete in the UCF Challenge hosted by the University of Central Florida.

14 schools in total will be competing at the event, with the Cyclones coming in as the seventh ranked team at the tournament. Overall they're ranked as the 43rd team in the country on GolfWeek's rankings heading into the second half of their season. The UCF challenge will take place Sunday morning, through Tuesday afternoon.

The UCF Challenge will be the women's first tournament since Oct. 11, when they played at the Stanford Intercollegiate in Palo Alto, California. In their four fall season tournaments the Cyclones finished in 14th, 10th, tied for third and a first place finish.

This year's team is led by freshman Liyana Durisic who is Iowa State's highest ranked golfer in the country. The Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, native is currently ranked as the 98th golfer in the country according the GolfStat.com.

Sophomore Taglao Jeeravivitaporn is the next highest ranked golfer on Martens' team. Jeeravivitaporn is a Bangkok, Thailand native and she is the 154th ranked golfer in the country.

The other lone Cyclone ranked in the top 250 is senior Amelia Mehmet Grohn, who is ranked 215th. Amelia continues Iowa State's trend of diversity, as she grew up in Coffs Harbour, Australia.

The 2019-20 Iowa State women's golf team is rounded out with junior Alanna Campbell, freshman Ruby Chou and senior Joy Chou.

This year's UCF Challenge will be played at the prestigious Eagle Creek Golf Club in Orlando. The course was designed by renowned golf course architects Ron Garl and Howard Swan. It is a 7,200 yard, Par 73 course with more than more than 60 bunkers and tricky bulkheads. 

The course should present the women's team with a great opportunity to start the second half of their 2019-20 season on the right foot. The weather calls for three partly cloudy days with an overall high of 75 and a low of 43. These should be perfect golfing conditions for all the teams competing in the event.

The UCF Challenge should be a great test for the Cyclones after nearly a three month layoff, as there is a very talented field of teams competing. Martens and her team should be able to leave with some great building blocks for the rest of the season regardless of the result.

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