Tag Archives: Orange County National

Dec
6
2010

Meet Andres: "I'm a funny guy. I just want people to know that I'm funny."

Andres Gonzales earned his 2011 PGA Tour card, thanks in part to his clutch play coming down the stretch in the final two holes. He posted a four-under 68 in the sixth round on Crooked Cat at Orange County National at Q-school to finish the six-round marathon at 10-under, good enough for T22 and two shots clear. The 27-year-old from Olympia, WA, doesn’t just have the best facial hair at Q-school — he now has the best on the PGA Tour.

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Dec
6
2010
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Ben Martin in the third round at Q-school

Five rounds down, one to go for PGA Tour hopefuls at Orange County National for PGA Tour Q-School. Veteran Billy Mayfair and former US Amateur runner-up Ben Martin are tied for the lead at 16-under through 90 holes in the 108-hole marathon. If all goes as planned, Mayfair will earn back his card and Martin will secure his in his first try.

The final round of Q-school is one of the most nerve-wracking days in professional golf — it’s where greatness or absolute disaster can change a player’s life. For 25 players (and ties), they will be competing on the PGA Tour next year, while for others, it’s another year grinding it out on in the minor leagues before they’ll have another shot. There’s so much emphasis on finishing in the top-25, but even if you’re out of the running, every shot still matters because the guys are still playing for status on the Nationwide Tour.

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Dec
3
2010

Kristy McPherson high-fives her caddie at LPGA Tour Championship in frigid Orlando morning

“It was like going into a fan and getting an ice bucket thrown in your face,” said Kenny Ebalo, who is caddying for Andres Gonzales.

Ebalo was referring to the chilly conditions on Thursday morning at Orange County National in Orlando, Florida, the site of this week’s PGA Tour Q-school. That’s right — it was 44 degrees, but felt like 37 degrees with the wind chill at around 9am. Andres, Ebalo and Michael Putnam, who is playing to get better status on the PGA Tour next year, had just sat down for lunch and were exchanging battle stories from grinding in the “really” cold temperatures.

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Dec
2
2010

Chris Baryla shoots 11-under 61 to take the lead at PGA Tour Q-School

When Chris Baryla walked in the clubhouse after firing a course record 11-under 61 in the second round at PGA Tour Q-school to take a one-stroke lead, he was welcomed with praise and some even applauded. “I was thinking, If Andres (Gonzales) can shoot 62 at Bayonet (in the second stage), I can shoot 61 at (the Crooked Cat course at Orange County National),” said Baryla with a wide smile as Andres gave him a congratulatory handshake.

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Dec
1
2010
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Two faceless pros at Q-school practice putting with unconventional grips

Just a few miles down the road from the site of this week’s PGA Tour Q-School, Orange County National, there’s one of the many massive welcome signs to the Walt Disney World Resort emblazoned with the slogan “Where Dreams Come True.” For the 166 (minus the dozen or so PGA Tour veterans) relative unknowns, faceless mini tour players or just-turned pros within six rounds of achieving a lifetime’s goal, it’s a preface to the week less sappy and overwrought than it is deadly serious.

We hear similar storylines every year, but what’s the atmosphere like the day before it starts? Surprisingly, rather relaxed in a zoo-like way. Call it the calm before the storm. And how about the mentality of the players? Cool and collected, for now.

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