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For a cause, on a good golf course, Gonzales and friends raise money for charity

Post by Todd Milles / The News Tribune on Sep. 17, 2012 at 5:35 pm with No Comments »
September 17, 2012 5:36 pm

There is living proof that Olympia golfer Andres Gonzales is popular on two professional tours.

The Capital High and UNLV product held his second annual Andres Gonzales Charity Tournament on Monday to raise money for pancreatic cancer awareness and local youth golf programs.

Including Gonzales, 10 Tour professionals (and PGA Tour rookie Richard Lee) played in the event at Tacoma Country and Golf Club, which was expected to bring in anywhere from $50,000 to $75,000.

“For everyone wanting to come out for free, that shows who Andres is, and that we respect what he is doing and we want to help him out,” University Place’s Michael Putnam said.

Last year, Gonzales started the tournament while he was a PGA Tour rookie – and brought out the likes of Putnam, Puyallup’s Ryan Moore, Spokane’s Alex Prugh and mid-level names such as Spencer Levin and Brendan Steele to play in it.

In a sense, the assembled field for the charity event Monday was more impressive, given who – and how far up – the participants are on the Tour money list.

Luke List is No. 2 in money, and is a tournament winner this season. So is Peter Haley II (No. 6 in money), and James Hahn (No. 8 ) and Hudson Swafford (No. 18) – and even Gonzales himself. All of these guys have locked up their PGA Tour cards for 2013.

Others professionals who golfed included Aron Price, Jim Renner, Peter Tomasulo (also a event winner) and Nate Smith.

Yet, to put this tournament on again, Gonzales had to almost start from scratch, getting to know the players he was playing against on a weekly basis, then asking them to sacrifice a little travel convenience to play in his tournament.

Considering who he drew, they must really like and respect him – flying from Boise, Idaho for no appearance fee, which is common on any tour, then flying out today for the tour’s next stop in Midland, Texas.

“At some point, I would like to be able to (give appearance fees). But the fact I have gotten 10 other guys to come out here … and donate their time, donate their energy to help a cause that has affected both me and my wife (Kristen) is awesome,” Gonzales said.

“I couldn’t be happier and be more proud of the friends and the people I have brought out here.”

Because of the FedEx Cup playoffs, Moore could not return to Gonzales’ event. But his father, Mike, and younger brother, Jason, were part of one of the amateur teams. … Matthew Stanley, the father of PGA Tour pro Kyle Stanley, out of Gig Harbor, caddied for Swafford. … Five-time men’s club champion Ray Schuler caddied for Gonzales. … Lee, a rookie on the PGA Tour, was a last-minute replacement for James Love, who is so far down the Tour money list (144th) that he had to try and Monday qualify for this week’s WNB Golf Classic in Texas. Meanwhile, Lee, a University of Washington product, was home on break and agreed to fill the spot. … The 11 teams played in a “shamble” format – where players picked the best tee shot to play from, then played their own golf ball the rest of the hole. Putnam’s team (Marty Beauvais, Jerry Johnson, James Kelley, Kent Nelson) won at 28-under-par 116.

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