A Q&A with TCU Golfer Brooke McDougald
Oct. 7, 2016
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Prior to teeing it up at the Jim West Challenge this weekend in her hometown of The Woodlands, Texas, TCU sophomore golfer Brooke McDougald sat down with Jay Hinton of TCU Athletics Communications to answer a few questions:
JH: What will it be like playing right in your backyard at the Jim West Challenge at The Fazio Course at Carlton Woods?
BM: I am so excited. I have actually taken lessons at this course since I was 8. It is really awesome to be able to go back home. I am going to have a ton of family and friends out there. It's going to mean so much to have such a big gallery of support.
JH: What was your reaction when you first learned TCU would be playing in two tournaments in your hometown?
BM: I was ecstatic. Very few people get the chance to play in their home area, much less their exact hometown and much less two events in their hometown. It's awesome.
JH: Was there any added pressure in trying to qualify for a spot in the TCU lineup to play in this tournament?
BM: It's hard to not put a little extra pressure on yourself when you get to be at home, and you know all your family and friends want to come and see you. Just to have that opportunity to play at home is really awesome. I did put a little extra pressure on myself this week.
JH: You committed to TCU when you were a freshman in high school. What was your reasoning for committing so early?
BM: I have always been pretty mature for my age and right away, I knew what I wanted in a school. I knew I wanted to stay in Texas and had it narrowed down to three or four places. I really connected with Coach (Angie) Larkin. She was awesome, and I loved everything about the school: the distance from home, Coach Larkin and her personality and how she runs the team, and that it is a smaller school with a bigger school feel.
JH: All the girls on the team have a nickname. What is yours?
BM: It's Quick Draw. Really the full nickname is Quick Draw McGraw. I think it has a couple of meanings. Basically, part of it is because I committed so young, and she (Coach Larkin) said maybe I jumped the gun on that, but I knew what I wanted and I couldn't be happier here at TCU. Also, my first week of workouts here was a little tough. During our warm-ups we have to stay on count with the team, and I kept getting ahead of the count and finished before everyone else. I had to learn to slow it down a little bit.
JH: What was it like when you competed in the first tournament of your collegiate career?
BM: It was so exciting. My first tournament was in Manhattan, Kan., at K-State's home tournament last year, and I couldn't wait to put on the purple and play for the Horned Frogs.
JH: You're one of four sophomores on the team. Do you have a close tie with the other sophomores?
BM: I didn't know there would be four of us (freshmen last year) until pretty late, but I was so excited. It's been a blast getting to go through the same experiences at the same time with Sabina (Pena), Brooke (Graebe) and Annika (Clark). We have gotten so close throughout it, and I can't imagine not having them on the team also. It's really awesome that we get to spend four years getting to know each other so well and really play for one another.
JH: How would you describe your game as a player?
BM: For a long time, I just got by on my short game. I had a great short game and a lot of grit and determination and made it happen. In the past 6-8 months, I have worked on my ball-striking and I have seen massive improvement, so now things are really coming together.
JH: Look down the road a couple of years. What do you see for yourself and this team?
BM: I think we have so much potential, and I know people have said that a lot about us. But seeing that we are so young, our team keeps getting closer and closer. We are getting better team chemistry and camaraderie, so I think in a year or two down the road -- even this year honestly -- we have a chance to do some really awesome things just because we do things the right way. We work hard, and we love and play for one another.
JH: What was the No. 1 thing you learned playing in your freshman season last year?
BM: Honestly, I would say the thing I learned last year is you have to have fun. If you put too much pressure on yourself or you think life revolves school and golf, then you're probably not going to be as successful as you should. The more fun I have, the better golf I play.
JH: What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?
BM: I would say expect to work really hard and expect to put in more hours than you ever thought you could, but at the same time it will be the best four years of your life.
JH: You were the only freshman across all sports to have a 4.0 grade-point average last year. What are your thoughts on that achievement, and how important are academics to you?
BM: I've always done really well in school, and it's always been important for me to work hard at everything that I do. I was really excited. It took a lot of hard work and maybe a little bit of extra effort, but it was well worth it.
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