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European Golf Champion Celia Barquín Arozamena, 22, murdered in Iowa

Spanish golfer Celia Barquín Arozamena. Credit: European Golf Association

A man has been charged with the murder of Spanish golfer Celia Barquín Arozamena after she was found dead on a Iowa golf course.

Barquín, 22, who won the European Ladies' Amateur Championship in July, was a student 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 a short distance away by officers from Ames Police Department.

Barquín's victory in the European Ladies' Amateur in Slovakia had secured her an invitation to next year's Women's British Open at Woburn. Credit: European Golf Association

In a statement, the police said they had determined Barquin died following an assault.

Collin Daniel Richards, also 22, has been charged with her murder - He has no known address.

"We are all devastated," Iowa State head women's golf coach Christie Martens said in a story posted on the team's website.

"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 European Golf Association said they are "deeply saddened to hear of the tragic loss of their friend and recent European Ladies' Amateur Chapion, Celia Barquín Arozamena."

The EGA added: "Celia was a delightful young lady who inspired all who met her with her enthusiasm for golf and life."

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The EGA had shared a picture on social media of Celia's teammates, when she holed the winning put at the European ladies' Amateur Championship in July.

Iowa State University President Dr Wendy Wintersteen added: "This is a tragic and senseless loss of a talented young woman and an acclaimed student athlete.

"We mourn with her family and friends in Spain, her team-mates here and all who knew her. On behalf of the entire Cyclone family, I extend our deep condolences to Celia's family and her many friends and team-mates at Iowa State. We are deeply saddened."

Barquín's victory in the European Ladies' Amateur in Slovakia had secured her an invitation to next year's Women's British Open at Woburn.

In August she advanced to Stage II of the LPGA Tour Qualifying Tournament.

She ended her Iowa State career (2015-18) with her fourth-straight NCAA Regional appearance and earned All-Big 12 Team honours for the third time (2015, 2016, 2018), one of only two players in school history to accomplish the feat.