Tilda Kvarnrud is a second year student from Mariestad, Sweden and finds herself at home on the California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) golf team. The women’s golf team finished their last tournament in second place at the California Collegiate Athletic Association Championships and is looking ahead to big things as the National Collegiate Athletics Association Super regional approaches.
Kvarnrud found her ambition is driven by being a student athlete because she gets the opportunity to travel while doing what she loves.
“I get to play in all these different places and represent the school, I think that’s a cool thing,” Kvarnrud says.
Being at CSUMB on an athletic scholarship inspires her to study, train and play hard.
Playing at the collegiate level in the U.S. was an adjustment for Kvarnrud, who said it’s much more competitive here.
“America is about winning. Back home it’s more of a journey to develop,” Kvarnrud said.
While it took her some time to adjust to being an athlete here, she found her role on the team.
“I’m the funny one,” Kvarnrud said. “I’d say I joke around a lot.”
Humor is Kvarnruds way of loosening up before she gets her head in the game. The most satisfying part of being a golfer is watching all her hard work pay off.
“You get to hit shots and see how your practice can result in a good score,” Kvarnrud said.
While being a student athlete can be difficult because “you have all these expectations and when it starts to go bad it’s hard to catch up,” this has helped Kvarnrud build strength and resilience.
Mastering the mental aspect of the game has helped Kvarnrud become the best athlete she can be.
“I care more now and that’s why I get more upset on the golf course,” Kvarnrud said. “But I know that anything can happen and I’m as good as my next shot, so I can’t focus on what happened before.”
While she likes to keep conversations light and humorous between holes, her ritual of putting on a glove, shooting the pin, checking the wind and taking a practice swing gets her in the zone before she takes her shot.
Next season, Kvarnrud is going to carry on with the confidence she’s gained through her previous experiences.
“I can be the best one,” she said. “I’ve told myself in the past that I can’t be the best, but it doesn’t really matter. The mindset is such a big part of the game.”
While the golf team currently has nine members, they’re about to downsize considerably as three seniors are graduating and there will be no new members. Next season, Kvarnrud will step onto the course as a third year with years of collegiate experience under her belt to carry the team forward.