April 22, 2014
As the TCU women's golf program prepares for Friday's opening round of the 2014 Big 12 Championships in Austin, Kortnie Maxoutopoulis
recently sat down for an interview with media relations student intern Elliot Trejo.
What brought you to TCU from California?
"I began my collegiate career at Rutgers University. While I really enjoyed my time there, I felt that it was too big, and I would be more comfortable at a smaller school. I also believed that I could push myself even harder in both the classroom and on the golf course at a smaller school. Originally, I was going to transfer at the end of my sophomore year. I had been contacted by Maryland, Duke, Oregon and TCU, all of them wanting someone to come in the spring. I visited TCU on my way home for winter break and committed the next day."
Alex Sborov, your former high school teammate, is also on the TCU women's golf team. How has that been?
"Alex was actually the first person I called to tell I was transferring to TCU. She and I were considered star players of our high school team and constantly challenged ourselves throughout our careers. Being at TCU has given us an opportunity to unite our competitive attitudes together and compete for our school. It's been very comforting to have a teammate and a friend from home to support me, and I support her."
Since you arrived at TCU, you have played in all but one tournament. How has that challenged you more as both a student and athlete?
"Coming in, I had no idea where I stood on the team. I had been playing at No. 1 for Rutgers, but playing for a top-30 program at TCU was going to be a challenge. It was reassuring to hear Coach (Angie) Larkin tell me that I could be a No. 1 player, but I had to earn it. Playing with very talented girls also helped push me to try even harder to earn my way in this program."
The TCU women's golf program is known for its players' unique nicknames. What is yours and how did you get it?
"My nickname is "K Sun." I earned that because I always take pictures of the sunset when we fly in for tournaments. My phone has a really good camera and filter and I always find myself taking pictures of the sunset, which led to me earning the name "K Sun." April McCoy's nickname is "Micky," but it was originally "McSnorkle" because she snores when she sleeps. Maria Maymon is nicknamed "Scooter" for her scooter that she drives around campus. We all like our nicknames and have a lot of fun with them. They're actually stitched on to our golf bags which is pretty cool, too."
TCU women's golf is heading into the Big 12 Championships in Austin this week. What are the team's expectations?
"We are going in with the goal to win. We can do it and we have the capability to do it. The Big 12 is a strong conference, but we're having great practices and are mentally preparing ourselves to compete. I don't set personal goals in terms of scores, but I do expect to do my best and compete at the highest level."
You're going to be a senior next year. What goals do you have for yourself and your team for your senior season?
"Personally, I want to win and I want us to win. We're losing Sanna (Nuutinen) next year due to graduation. She is an incredible player and leader, and I hope that we can continue our success going into next year. I have a few tournaments throughout the summer and will continue to maintain my focus. When I first came to TCU, I didn't know where I stood on the team. I now know that we have great chemistry. We continuously support one another and strive to win and represent TCU to the best of our abilities. As of right now, we're focused on the present and look forward to competing in the Big 12 Championships."
Do you feel a leadership role on the team?
"Absolutely. Regardless of who holds the title as captain, I feel that it is each of our responsibilities to be a leader and role model for the younger players. We want to win, but it is also important to have fun. We focus a lot on doing well, but it's the journey to get us here that really makes us who we are. I think building each other up and team synergy will help being a leader on the team and a better player overall."