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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 15 October 2018

Man arrested after golfer found dead on Iowa course

Celia Barquin Arozamena was ranked 69th in the US.

Celia Barquin Arozamena won the European Ladies' Amateur Championship in July 2018. EPA
Celia Barquin Arozamena won the European Ladies' Amateur Championship in July 2018. EPA

A man has been charged with murder after a Spanish former champion golfer was found dead on an Iowa golf course on Monday morning.

Celia Barquin Arozamena, 22, was found after golfers at the Coldwater Golf Links course in Ames spotted an unsupervised golf bag and called police. Officers later found her body far from the bag.

Collin Daniel Richards, also 22, of no known address, was charged with first-degree murder on Tuesday. Police have not released information on whether Mr Richards knew Ms Barquin Arozamena, or the manner in which she died.

 Collin Daniel Richards was arrested on Tuesday. STORY COUNTY SHERIFF
 Collin Daniel Richards was arrested on Tuesday. STORY COUNTY SHERIFF

Ms Barquin Arozamena, a civil engineering student at Iowa State University, was one of the most accomplished players in Iowa State golf history, her university said. Just two months before her death, she won the European Ladies Amateur Championship and in April she became the Big 12 champion.

Her teammates and coaches released statements and took to social media to pay tribute to the talented young woman, who was ranked 69th nationally by Golfweek.

Head women's golf coach Christie Martens said in a release 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.

Nacho Gervás from the Spanish Golf Federation, told the El País newspaper: "She was a player who was heading for the very top, without a doubt."

Figures from the golf and other sporting worlds also expressed sympathy for Barquin Arozamena’s family and friends.

Fellow Spanish golfer Azahara Munoz Vickers shared an Instagram post showing her and Ms Barquin Arozamena together. She wrote “You ll never be forgotten Celia.... one day we’ll see each other again.”