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15 year old gets to play with Tiger Woods

Imagine being 15 years old and getting called in at the last minute to play golf in front of hundreds of people on one of the toughest courses around.

Now imagine one of your playing partners is Tiger Woods.

That's what happened Wednesday to Andrew Giuliani, the son of New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. The mayor was supposed to be one of Woods' pro-am partners Wednesday in advance of the Buick Classic, but couldn't play because of a sore foot.

``So I brought a substitute in for me today — Andrew Giuliani,'' the mayor said. ``He played very, very well.''

The younger Giuliani was credited with shooting an 85. While that didn't come close to the 2-under 69 that Woods shot during a casual warm-up round for the tournament beginning Thursday, Andrew Giuliani did have his moments.

He made a birdie on the par-5, 526-yard 18th hole by sinking a 15-foot putt and chipped in from off the green on the second hole for a par. After that shot he asked — and received — permission from Woods to imitate Woods' famous fist-pumping celebration.

Giuliani blasted several long drives, some in the vicinity of Woods' 3-woods and some deep into the rough.

Andrew, who declined to talk about the round afterward, was also a vocal cheerleader for Woods and others in the pro-am foursome. When Woods bent a long drive around the corner on the dogleg, par-4 eighth hole, Giuliani exclaimed, ``That's smoked, Mr. Woods.''

He also cautioned Woods it was dangerous to walk near him as he prepared to hack out of some rough on No. 13. ``This is some thick rough, man,'' Giuliani said.

Through it all, Rudolph Giuliani played the part of proud papa, clapping after good shots and patting his son's back after bad ones. The mayor walked alongside the group for much of the round but hopped in a waiting cart to climb some of the steeper hills.

Rudolph Giuliani said his son's round was about typical. He said Andrew has broken 80 twice and it was Andrew's interest in golf that got the mayor to start playing the game three years ago.

``It was enormously exciting for me to be here as Andrew's dad and watch him play with Tiger Woods,'' said Giuliani, who has had more than his share of recent domestic upheaval with his impending divorce from Donna Hanover. ``I was very, very proud in the way in which he played and I can't tell you what a kind and generous person Tiger Woods is. He was very, very nice to Andrew.''

Woods gave Andrew Giuliani many tips, the mayor said, and Andrew tried to give Woods a few, too.

``I definitely enjoyed his company. It was kind of fun to have someone close to my age,'' said Woods, 25.

Asked to evaluate Andrew Giuliani's game, Woods said, ``Well, he is not afraid to take a cut at it. That's for sure.''


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