Swarthmore Athlete of the Week – Max Ash ’27:

Swarthmore Athletics

Max Ash ’27, a first year from Weston, MA, led the Swarthmore men’s golf team to a strong second-place finish in their spring opener over the weekend. The Garnet traveled to Joelton, TN, to compete in the Music City Shootout against twelve other teams. Ash finished fourth individually to pace the Garnet. The first year recorded an opening-round score of 77 (+7) on Saturday and a closing-round score of 69 (-1) on Sunday, the second-lowest score of the round. Swarthmore will return to competition next weekend in North Carolina at the Hampden-Sydney Invitational. 

Sophia Vesely: Can you tell us about the program’s spring opener this weekend? 

Max Ash: Our season opener was an event we were all very much looking forward to. With the location of the tournament being in Tennessee, there was extra preparation needed but also excitement about traveling to a great golf destination. As it is not exactly golf weather in Pennsylvania yet, the majority of our preparations was either inside on the simulator or at the driving range. As the tournament began, the team definitely had to kick off some rust during the first round, but after a nice night exploring Nashville, we settled in a bit for the second round. 

SV: How did it feel to place second overall?

MA: As all of us on the team have high expectations, we felt a bit disappointed with our finish, but we must realize it was our first time being on the course in months, so a second-place finish is acceptable. We will use this experience to enhance our chances in the upcoming season.

SV: How did it feel to finish fourth individually?

MA: After a rough first day, I was just trying to get some strokes back to help the team get closer to first place. I felt fairly rusty in the beginning, but I began to warm up in the second round which was the key reason for my solid finish. I think that this finish is a great start to the season, but I am hopeful that our team, my teammates, and I will all start to bring in wins in the next couple of tournaments.

SV: What are the team’s goals for the season?

MA: With several tournaments lined up, the team is very competitive, and we all have our eyes on the trophies. We go into every tournament feeling and knowing what we are capable of. The amount of potential we have as a team, I feel, is top-tier in Division III. Although these upcoming tournaments are important, our main focus is on the Centennial Championships, which would place us into the NCAA National Championship. 

SV: What are some of your personal goals for the season?

MA: The main goal that I feel all of our team has is to make it to nationals. Personally, I am going to keep working hard in preparation in order to give myself the best chance to win the events we play in, but all in all, just give our team the best chance of winning.

SV: Do you have any pre- or post-tournament rituals?

MA: I am very particular about my pre-tournament rituals. Pre-round, I always have a similar breakfast along with stretching. My warm-up before the round is always exactly the same.

SV: Why did you choose Swarthmore, and what are you studying?

MA: Swarthmore was always on the top of my list for the great academics and athletics. The ability to study what I’m interested in, while playing top level golf is very important to me. As I am a first year, I have not fully decided yet, but at the moment I am interested in engineering and astronomy.

SV: What is your favorite Dining Center bar?

MA: Whenever I walk into the Dining Center, I always head upstairs for the spice bar. I feel that it always has the healthiest and best tasting food.

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