A man has been charged with murder in the death of a prominent Spanish golfer.

Celia Barquín Arozamena, 22, was found dead at a golf course in Iowa.

Barquín was a leading student athlete at Iowa State University, and won the European Ladies' Amateur championship in July.

Police were called to the Coldwater Golf Links in Ames, Iowa after golfers found an unattended golf bag at the golf course early on Monday.

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Officers found Barquín's body "some distance away" and determined that she was assaulted.

Collin Daniel Richards, also 22, has been charged with first-degree murder according to police.

"This is a tragic and senseless loss of a talented young woman and an acclaimed student athlete," said Iowa State University president Dr. Wendy Wintersteen in a statement.

"We mourn with her family and friends in Spain, her teammates 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 teammates at Iowa State. We are deeply saddened."

Barquín was the 2018 Big 12 champion and the school's female athlete of the year.