PRATTVILLE, AL (WSFA) - It’s been a week since star Iowa State golfer Celia Barquin was killed. She was golfing alone at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames, Iowa, when she was attacked. Barquin’s body was later found in a nearby pond.
Some of Barquin’s closest friends are competing in the Guardian Championship, in Prattville, and are still struggling to understand why this happened.
“I saw it on Twitter and I thought it was not real," said Maria Parra, a professional golfer and longtime friend of Barquin’s.
“We played together on the national team for most of my whole life, so I’ve known her since I was eight,” Parra said.
Parra was the one who told the other players at the Guardian Championship of Barquin’s murder.
Fatima Cano was one of the players Parra told.
“We couldn’t believe it was true. We said this is not happening, there’s no way this is true," Cano said.
Cano also considers herself to be a friend of Barquin’s.
“There are no words that can describe her appropriately. She was the happiest person you could ever meet in your life," Cano said.
Cano and Barquin became friends after playing junior golf together in their home country of Spain.
Cano said Barquin’s career was just beginning. When Barquin was still playing golf for Iowa State, she earned All-Big 12 honors three times. In April, she won the Big 12 Championship and was named as Iowa State’s Female Athlete of the Year, and in July, Barquin won the European Amateur Championship.
“Nothing we do will ever be good enough for when we lost Celia, but from here we got to try to support each other and move forward somehow,” said professional golfer Prima Thammaraks.
Thammaraks first met Barquin when Barquin was an incoming freshman at Iowa State. Thammaraks also played golf for Iowa State. Although she and Barquin did not play at the same time, she said Barquin was “really nice and really kind.”
Parra, Cano and Thammaraks can be spotted at the Guardian Championship wearing Iowa State hats in Barquin’s honor. But, they’re not the only ones. Even players who didn’t know Barquin personally can be seen wearing Iowa State hats in memory of a life taken too soon.