Europe’s players will wear yellow ribbons at the Ryder Cup this week to honor the murdered Spanish golfer Celia Barquin Arozamena.
The 22-year-old, a standout player at Iowa State University and European Junior amateur champion, was killed on a golf course in Iowa earlier this month.
Europe’s Sergio Garcia, who knew Barquin, said the European team was keen to mark her passing.
“It’s very sad…for many reasons,” the Spaniard told reporters at Le Golf National, near Paris Wednesday.
“Not only because she was way too young, but she was just too nice a person, and the way it happened.
“I guess the only thing we can do is pay a great tribute to her and make sure her family feels proud of us, and I know they feel proud of her.
“We obviously want to try to win for Europe, for everyone, for our teammates but obviously the passing of Celia it’s an extra effort there.”
Europe’s captain Thomas Bjorn added: “The golfing family extends way beyond what we are trying to do this week.
“You know, those events in America with Celia being killed playing golf is something that’s hit everybody in the golf family, and obviously our two Spanish players very much.
“And we felt like that after a conversation from Ryder Cup Europe with Celia’s mother, that we would honor her this week.”
Another European player, US-based Spaniard Jon Rahm, also knew Barquin, and Bjorn added: “When you speak to Sergio and Jon about it, they will both — they couldn’t talk highly enough about her. We felt like that was appropriate for the week.”
Barquin was named Iowa State Female Athlete of the Year. She won the 2018 Big 12 championship, an annual tournament contested between 10 leading US sports universities, and was crowned European Ladies’ Amateur champion in July.
“Celia had an infectious smile, a bubbly personality and anyone fortunate enough to know her was blessed. Our Cyclone family mourns the tragic loss of Celia, a spectacular student-athlete and ISU ambassador,” said ISU athletics director Jamie Pollard.
She was described as “one of the most accomplished players in Cyclone golf history,” in reference to the name for the university’s sports teams.
“Celia was a beautiful person who was loved by all her teammates and friends,” said Christie Martens, Iowa State head women’s golf coach.
“She loved Iowa State and was an outstanding representative for our school. We will never forget her competitive drive to be the best and her passion for life.”