Giuliani eyes tour card, future venues

Andrew Giuliani, the controversial son of Rudolph, himself the controversial former mayor of New York and presidential candidate, has made a solid start to his professional golf career. Taking some time off from suing his alma mater Duke University over being dismissed from the golf team, Giuliani notched his first pro victory in the Met Open on August 27, an event that is hotly contested among New York-area pros.
The win earned him $27,500. Then just two weeks ago he pre-qualified for PGA Tour Q-School in Dade City, Fla. He begins the long battle through Q School in pursuit of a PGA Tour card later this month.
But this weekend Giuliani learns that -- to paraphrase Tip O'Neill -- all golf is local. On Oct. 10 he tees it up in the Champions Cup against some of the best amateurs from New Jersey's most storied clubs. Though billed as a friendly matchplay event, the tournament comes with a PGA Tour subplot.
The Champions Cup lineup includes Ridgewood Country Club (which hosted The Barclays, the first leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs, in 2008 and will do so again in 2010); Plainfield Country Club (which will host in 2011); and Essex County Country Club, an underrated gem that bears the design imprints of A.W. Tillinghast, Seth Raynor and Charles Banks. Essex County CC recently underwent major improvements with an eye to snagging The Barclays in the future.
Noticeably absent from the lineup is Liberty National, the upscale private club that hosted this year's Barclay's, and which was almost universally panned by the pros.
Giuliani's opponents are Mike Stamberger (a two-time club champion at Plainfield), David Rahal (last year's champ at Ridgewood) and Greg Stebbins (the reigning Essex County club champion).

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by Kevin Cunningham