LISTEN: From junior golf to life on Tour, Andres Gonzales (Ep. 18)
By Stephanie Wei under Podcast

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PGA Tour pro Andres Gonzales is one of my oldest and dearest friends. I met Andres and Michael Putnam on the same day at the same time because we shared the same swing coach (Joe Thiel) when we were junior golfers.

Andres and I practiced and played a lot together, and he often caddied for me at qualifiers for USGA events, among other tournaments. In fact, having him on my bag was a huge reason why I managed to qualify for the 2000 U.S. Jr. Girls and the 2001 U.S. Women’s Amateur. I mean, he practically hit the shots and stroked the putts. Okay, not really, but I couldn’t (still can’t) read greens to save my life, which he reminds me practically every time we talk.

We reminisced and took a walk down memory lane with funny and random stories from our youth on and off the golf course — mostly about Andres embarrassing me when I used to be super shy. Like when he pulled this stunt:

You will have to listen to the pod to hear the back story, but the whole thing is even more hilarious now than it was half a lifetime ago. Holy shit, it literally has been that long.


Andres was actually the only guy friend in high school that my parents were cool with letting me have (platonic) sleepovers with. (Even such a rare exception was pretty radical when you have strict Asian immigrant parents!) He even made the two-hour journey to attend my high school graduation, which we discuss in the podcast — he apparently regrets that decision and I don’t blame him because it was long and boring even though there were only 63 kids in my graduating class.

Andres’ wife Kristin, whom I’ve also known since we were 15/16-years-old, makes a couple of cameos, along with their two lovely daughters Tova and Marit.

Tune in for lots of laughs and stories. I’m a sentimental person, so I love that there a few things that don’t change — perhaps they evolve, but the foundation, so to speak, remains the same.



Note: *This podcast was recorded during the week of the Barracuda Championship.*