The European Ryder Cup team will wear yellow ribbons during this week’s match-play in memory of Celia Barquin Arozamena, a former Iowa State golfer from Spain who was stabbed to death Sept. 17 on a golf course in Ames.
“Obviously, the golfing family extends way beyond what we are trying to do this week,” European captain Thomas Bjorn said Tuesday. “Those events in America, with Celia being killed while playing golf, is something that’s hit everybody in the golf family, and obviously our two Spanish players very much.
“We felt that, after a conversation between Ryder Cup Europe with Celia’s mother, we would honor her this week. That’s what we are doing, and it’s nothing about us, but it’s just more about the fact that the golfing family gets touched by these things all over the world. It’s terrible when things like this happen.
“Such a great prospect for the game of golf, she was, but also a wonderful person. And when you speak to Sergio and Jon about it, they both couldn’t talk highly enough about her. We felt like that was appropriate for the week.”
Sergio Garcia, who along with Jon Rahm, is representing Spain on this year’s European Ryder Cup team. They both noted Barquin Arozamena’s death on Twitter last week.
Barquin Arozamena, 22, exhausted her college eligibility last season, when she became just the second Cyclones golfer to earn medalist honors at the Big 12 Conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA regional for a fourth straight year. She had returned to Iowa State to finish her civil engineering degree. The native of Puente San Miguel, Spain, also won the European Ladies’ Amateur championship in July, shooting a course-record 63 at Slovakia’s Penati Golf Resort in the third round.
Prosecutors have charged Collin Daniel Richards with first-degree murder in Barquin Arozamena’s slaying. According to Ames police reports obtained by the Associated Press, Richards was homeless at the time of the slaying and staying at an encampment near the golf course where Barquin Arozamena’s body was found. He had struggled with drug and alcohol abuse and mental health problems after getting out of prison in June, the AP reported. Richards had served a seven-month sentence for violating the terms of his probation on convictions for burglary and other crimes.