Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Olympia native Andres Gonzales will take his road show to the U.S. Open

Andres Gonzales is no wide-eyed innocent -- check his Twitter tweaks of Tiger Woods -- but there's nothing like your first.

Your first U.S. Open.

Gonzales, 28, a PGA Tour rookie from Olympia, Wash., played his way into the Open Monday with a 36-hole total of 133 (67-66) to tie for third in a sectional qualifying tournament at Tunica National in Tunica, Miss.

Gonzales' buddy, Pat Putnam, of Lakewood, Wash., also qualified with a 133 at the same sectional.

In his first year with full PGA status, Gonzales has missed more cuts than he's made, but it hasn't been all about the golf. For instance: He's a Twitter legend. He's become the favorite player of a host of fans and press types and fellow pros -- it's true, read the tweets (@Andres_Gonzales) -- who appreciate his refusal to be stone serious about himself or the game or the Tour.

Gonzales shouts tweets out to Woods, wondering why Tiger won't reply ("Why u big-leaguing me?").

One of his classic tweets: "@TigerWoods did you know that Laser stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation? I learned something new today."

He's got Twittertown all aflutter about whether Tiger will offer him an exemption to play in his tournament, the AT&T National, starting June 30 at Aronomink in Newtown Square, Pa.

As for the golf, it hasn't been a smooth ride. He's been out of character -- more frustrated than normal.

"That's not how I like to play," he said last week. "I'm starting to go out and play and have fun, and it's making golf fun again."

Gonzales is in the field this week for the Fedex St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind in Memphis, and he's got an Open date on his calendar -- July 16-19 at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md.

Gonzales has acknowledged an invitation to be a guest blogger right here, where he can let his freak flag fly without the constraints of 140 characters. Stay tuned.

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