A man has been charged with murder, hours after prominent Spanish golfer Celia Barquín Arozamena was found dead on an Iowa golf course.
Barquín, 22, won the European Ladies’ Amateur championship in July and was a leading student athlete at Iowa State University.
Golfers at the Coldwater Golf Links in Ames discovered an unattended golf bag on the course early on Monday.
Barquín was found dead by police a short distance away.
Police in the Iowa city of Ames said they had determined that Barquín died following an assault.
Collin Daniel Richards, also 22, has been charged with her murder, police say. He has no known address, according to their statement.
Originally from Puente San Miguel in Spain, Barquín was finishing her degree in civil engineering this semester, the university said.
During her time in the US, she rose to prominence as a young golfer, winning the 2018 Big 12 university championship, and was named Iowa State Female Athlete of the Year.
The head of Spain’s Olympic Committee, Alejandro Blanco, spoke of his deep shock at the tragedy and solidarity with Celia Barquín’s family.
The university said she “was one of the most accomplished players in Cyclone golf history”, referring to the university’s sporting nickname.
“We are all devastated,” said the head women’s golf coach, Christie Martens.
“Celia was a beautiful person who was loved by all her team-mates and friends. 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.”
The university’s athletics director, Jamie Pollard, said: “Celia had an infectious smile, a bubbly personality and anyone fortunate enough to know her was blessed.”