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Clemson’s top golfer speaks on preparation for championship season


Swanson hits a long drive in a past tournament. 

After tying for 14th at the Men’s Golf ACC Championship this past weekend, Clemson’s lead golfer Andrew Swanson has confidence in his game, knowing his season isn’t over yet. 
Swanson’s team finished ninth overall in the tournament, shooting 13-over-par, with Swanson going one under for the weekend. In the regular season, the sophomore scored 71.52 on average, shooting his best round of 63 in Oct. at the Ka’anapali Classic in Hawaii. For his college career thus far, Swanson boasts 125 birdies in regular-season play.
The Bluffton, South Carolina, native knows his team can surpass expectations with the NCAA Regional Championship approaching.  
“We have a young team this year with a lot of talent,” he said. “I can’t wait for all of us to put it together because I have seen the potential from all of us.” 
Individually, Swanson feels strongly about his capabilities. 
“It is hard to pick a favorite part of my game, but I would probably say my driving,” he said. “This season, I have driven it very long and straight, which is very beneficial. It gives me a lot of short irons and wedges into the green, which gives me a good chance at low scores.”
To the golfer, still, nothing is perfect, and there is always improvement to be had, especially on the green. 
“I am trying to improve upon my putting. I am a very streaky putter. Some weeks I putt it fantastic and other weeks, it seems like the hole is very small. I have been working hard to try to make that part of my game more consistent,” he said. “This year, when I had a good putting week, it resulted in a solid finish.”
In golf, each round provides a different challenge for a player. No course is the same, nor are the conditions a player must face for the day. Along with the physically demanding aspect of the game, Clemson’s top golfer also knows it takes time to adjust to the collegiate competitiveness of golf.
“Each tournament, I have been getting more comfortable playing collegiate golf, and my course management skills have greatly improved over the last couple of years,” Swanson said. 
Overall, Swanson is still in the development stage of his career, which is one he acknowledges and appreciates.
As they gear up for hosting the NCAA Regional Championship from May 15 through 17 at The Cliffs at Keowee Falls, Swanson is just looking forward to the experience. While he plans to prepare the same way he would for any tournament, he knows practice makes perfect. 
“I will make sure to keep my golf swing in check and play our home course a lot,” Swanson said of his practice method. “It’ll be nice to play my first ever regional on a course I know.” 
The sophomore math major is confident that he will improve his golf game and is excited to grow for future seasons—his eventual goal alongside his team: the NCAA Championship.

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Kiley Bouchard, Senior Reporter
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