Zeitler proving to be superstar for Iowa golf

Since bursting onto the scene for Iowa women’s golf on Oct. 13, true freshman Lea Zeitler has made her presence felt.


Austin Hanson, Assistant Sports Editor

Hailing from Fiecht/Mieming Tyrol, Austria, Lea Zeitler is Iowa women’s golf’s superstar. Despite being a true freshman, Zeitler has shown the poise of an upperclassman on the golf course this season.

Zeitler burst onto the scene for the Hawkeyes during the fall campaign. She made her Iowa golf debut on Oct. 13 at the Magnolia Invitational.

Zeitler’s first round as a Hawkeye was disappointing. She shot an abysmal 9-over-par 81 at the 6,320-yard, par 72 Old Waverly Golf Club in Starkville, Mississippi.

Fortunately for Zeitler, the negative trend did not continue in Mississippi. Zeitler charged to finish in a tie for 22nd place after firing a final round three-under-par 69. Her performance lifted the Hawkeyes to a ninth-place finish, their highest of the season.

Zeitler capped her fall performance at the Battle at the Beach. The Texas Christian University-hosted event took place San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. Zeitler finished the tournament in a tie for 16th after another clutch final round. Zetiler fired a three-under-par 68 at 6,250-yard, par 71 Club Campestre San Jose.

“Obviously fall was one of the best seasons I’ve ever had,” Zeitler said. “I’m just excited to get out there and play again. I’m just going to try to keep it flowing, focus on the good stuff I did, and keep the momentum with me.”

Zeitler continued to impress in her first tournament of the spring. She shot four-under-par across three rounds at the All State Sugar Bowl at the English Turn Golf and Country Club in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Zeitler’s spectacular play led to a career-best finish. She acquired her first top-10, finishing in a tie for eighth place.

“Lea is composed and sticks to a simple process,” Iowa head coach Megan Menzel said. “She works very hard and this allows her to be calm and know that she is ready for the tournament. She invites and accepts the challenges that each event brings.”

Zeitler’s remarkable play of late isn’t completely shocking. In high school in Austria, Zeitler was an accomplished golfer. She won the 2014 European Girls Team Championship as an individual qualifier with a career-low 65.

Zeitler placed third at the International Bulgarian Ladies Amateur Championship. She has also been a member of the Austrian Women’s National Golf Team since 2010.

Zeitler believes her play off the tee has been a key to her success.

“I think my long game is pretty strong,” Zeitler said. “It’s one of my strongest parts of my game. I’ve been working really hard on it.”

Despite her accomplishments, Zeitler knows that there are always things to work on and ways to get better.

“I’ve been working really hard on my putting,” Zeitler said. “That was kind of like my weak part last season. I’m trying to make this part a little stronger. So, I’ve been working a lot on my putting. We’ve been doing a lot of different drills. We always have a little bit of technique for like 10 or fifteen minutes, then we just like do games or [four-foot putts].”

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