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Freshman Max Fonseca of Penn men's golf (Photo from Penn Athletics).

In the midst of Penn men's golf's fall season, The Daily Pennsylvanian sat down with freshman golfer Max Fonseca to ask him 15 questions on everything from sleeping in golf carts as a child to his mini golf competitiveness. 

1. Introduce yourself!

I’m Max Fonseca. I’m a freshman on the varsity golf team and in Wharton. Probably going to concentrate in finance; that's my plan right now. I'm from Miami.

2. How were you introduced to the game of golf?

My dad and my grandpa both played, so I started just kind of hanging out, like putting around and sleeping in the cart when I was three. They're not professionals or anything, but they play casually, so that's how I was first introduced. 

3. Do you have a favorite golf memory?

In general, spending time with my dad and grandpa were good times. We went to Scotland, and I got to play St. Andrews, some of the courses out there, which was really awesome and a great experience. Most of my best experiences as of recent are playing tournaments and playing with a lot of my good friends from back in Miami.

4. Who is your favorite pro golfer and why?

I’ve been a big Tiger Woods fan for my whole life. He would have been, especially growing up, [the one] that I would look to the most. Kind of like them all, but Tiger would be the favorite. 

5. What inspires you?

Generally, I like improving myself. I think [golf's] a sport that you can always be getting better. There's always a lot of things. You pretty much [are] always going [to] make mistakes, you can always find something wrong. So being able to constantly improve and analyze where your strengths are, where your weaknesses are, and being able to figure out what you got to work on and how you got to get better is really what drives me to keep playing. 

6. Who would you like to shout out that has helped you reach this moment in life?

It's really just that every shot it's so demanding. In general, my mental game like my course management a bit of strength, which is what a lot of people struggle with kind of stepping to the next level with but I think there's just, I mean, every shot gets so demanding. So making sure that you don't get too down on yourself or for bad shots when they happen. Like they're gonna happen.

7. Golf is often called a mental game; do you agree with this statement? How so?

That's pretty much completely true. I mean, at this level especially, everyone has a swing that is going to be good enough. It's going to work. They have skills, obviously, [and] you've got to practice to improve your skills. [But] confidence plays such a huge factor as well. Being able to visualize what you want to do before you do it, being able to hit the shots and then when [you hit] a bad shot, you got to put it behind you — that's how you're going to get your best results. A lot of times it gets tricky to not worry about bad shots that happen, [or] tough shots that are about to happen. You've just got to stay and make the best swing, and … if you do that over a long enough period of time, you're going to get your best results.

8. How do you think you overcome adversity?

I mean, kind of the same thing. Just put your head down. Everything's going to work out in the long term, so know that if you put in the work and if you're always trying to better yourself, you're going to work it out.

9. How are you adjusting to life at Penn? 

I've been pretty okay. The first week was a little tricky, [as] hydration was a little bit of a problem for me. I noticed that it cost me a little bit on the golf course since the beginning, but I’ve gotten all that a lot better. And now I've just gotten used to the coursework and everything, so I’ve transitioned pretty well I think. Hasn't been too bad.

10. What has your favorite class been at Penn so far and why? 

Probably my Writing Seminar about the NBA because of the detailed modern NBA strategy that the assigned reading taught me. 

11. How does your hometown compare to Philadelphia?

The part of Miami [where] I was from was not super in the city, so that part definitely changes a good bit. I guess [Miami] is obviously a lot more Hispanic-oriented: a lot more Spanish is being spoken everywhere, even though I don’t speak Spanish too great. That's probably the biggest difference I noticed, especially from a lot of my other Miami friends. Their biggest change has been the change from a pretty Latin dominated culture to a little bit more diverse in general, I guess. 

12. Do you have a favorite place to grab food on campus?

I've been grabbing a little bit from everywhere. I go to Houston a lot in general because it's good. The meal exchange isn't too bad.

13. Do your golf skills translate to the mini golf course? 

Depending on who I'm with. If I'm with other golfers, I'll generally be a little bit more competitive. I'll try to lock in. It translates a little bit. I'll be better than people [who] just don't golf all, but it wouldn't show as much if I'm hanging out with non-golfers if I'm trying to be competitive. 

14. What’s a show or movie you always rewatch? 

I don’t have a show that I rewatch a lot, but I’m probably gonna rewatch “Ted Lasso” soon.

15. What are you looking forward to the most in your next four years at Penn? 

Looking forward to being able to learn more; just grow as a person overall. As a golfer, [to] try to get better every step of the way. It's generally how I try to live my life and how I'm gonna keep going forward.