Editor’s note: Over the next month, Golfweek.com will be previewing every conference that has an automatic bid into the NCAA Regionals. For all of the women’s conference capsules, click here.
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After the fall, it looked like TCU could use a bit of a spark. Head coach Angie Ravaioli-Larkin might have found it in the offseason.
The Horned Frogs will pick up transfer Kortnie Maxoutopoulis for the spring, a sophomore who re-evaluated her college career after three semesters at Rutgers. In that short amount of time, Maxoutopoulis, originally from Pleasanton, Calif., won twice and finished in the top-10 seven times.
Maxoutopoulis explains her decision as simple yet last-minute. When she visited TCU as a high school student, she hadn’t really thought she would leave California for college. Still, something about the way Ravaioli-Larkin ran her program stuck, so Maxoutopoulis made a pit stop in Fort Worth, Texas, for another visit on her way home for Christmas this year.
“I loved her structure and her program,” Maxoutopoulis said. She needed a change, and a warm-weather climate, so she decided to transfer.
After talking with Ravaioli-Larkin in December, Maxoutopoulis began thinking about her upcoming role for the Horned Frogs. After finishing no better than 10th in four fall tournaments, TCU needs a fresh start to salvage its first season in the Big 12. Maxoutopoulis sees her role as helping push the players already on the roster
“I’m really big into believing and leadership,” she said. “…I want to play an influential role in the team and make sure we have that bond.”
What’s promising about Maxoutopoulis’ outlook on the spring at TCU is that the pieces are already there. The Fall was simply a story of underperformance.
If Maxoutopoulis can provide a solid fourth score and a trio of returners rally around her, it’s not out of the question to think TCU could win the Big 12 Championship in its first try. After all, this team won the Mountain West Championship the past two years, and significant talent remains.
The key will be in the three returners: junior Sanna Nuutinen, 2012 Mountain West individual champion; sophomore Alexandra Bonetti, 2010 British Girls Amateur champion; and sophomore April McCoy, 2012 Windy City Collegiate champion, must step up.
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Where it stands now
Top of the class: Oklahoma
Best player in the fall: Kimberly Kaufman, Texas Tech
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2010: Texas A&M
2009: Oklahoma State
2008: Oklahoma State
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