U.S. Open qualifier: Gonzales all worked up about runner-up finish

U.S. Open qualifier: PGA Tour player, here on break, ties for second; Olympia High’s Francks 1st alternate

May 13, 2011 

Andres Gonzales was not the happiest camper.

Sure, the former Capital High standout and rookie on the PGA Tour accomplished what he needed to Thursday – getting through U.S. Open local qualifying – but it was the manner in which he did it that left him a bit miffed.

Gonzales’ 2-under-par 69 at Tumble Creek Club in Cle Elum left him one stroke behind medalist Tim Feenstra, of Lynden (68).

“I am a little disappointed,” said Gonzales, easily the highest-profile player in the field of 118. “I don’t want to lose to anybody here.”

Gonzales tied Canadian Wes Heffernan for second place. Bonney Lake’s Sean Packer, who finished fourth alone after his 70, was the only other golfer under par.

Olympia High junior Dominick Francks had one of the longest days of the entrants. He posted an even-par 71, then had to wait out the afternoon wave of golfers to see if he would advance to sectional qualifying next month.

Francks ended up in a five-way playoff for four spots, and became the odd man out. The teenager bogeyed the second playoff hole – the difficult par-3 11th – and is the first alternate out of this qualifier.

For Gonzales, the qualifier continued his two-week layoff in the Northwest from the PGA Tour. Besides playing in this event, he will tee it up in next week’s Washington Open Invitational at Glendale Country Club in Bellevue.

“I did have the opportunity to play in next week’s Nationwide Tour event (in South Carolina),” Gonzales said, “but it is nice to be home.”

After making the turn at even-par, Gonzales eagled the par-5 14th, then added a birdie two holes later to get to 2-under.

“This course suits my eye well,” Gonzales said. “The fairways are generous – and more generous on the par-5s. I just tomahawked the ball on them.”

todd.milles@thenewstribune.com

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