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Giuliani to play golf for Duke

Andrew Giuliani is coming to Duke next fall—to play golf. Yes, this is the same Andrew Giuliani whose father served two terms as mayor of New York City, the same Andrew Giuliani who Chris Farley parodied on Saturday Night Live in 1994 for mocking his father at the mayoral inauguration.

In the years since then, though, the once roly-poly youngster has built himself into an impressive athlete—good enough to be recruited by several major golf programs, including Duke. Giuliani came to Durham on an official recruiting visit last month and immediately notified the coaching staff of his commitment to attend the University. A source close to the program confirmed that Giuliani has been accepted by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

“I can’t wait for next fall,” Giuliani said. “I’m looking forward to working hard and being part of the outstanding team they have and helping to improve them.”

Giuliani also considered Arizona State and Virginia, but ultimately Duke won out, largely because of the welcoming atmosphere he found at Duke on his visit.

“I just fell in love with Coach [Jim] Kubinski and Coach [Rod] Myers,” he said. “There’s a bunch of great guys on the team too and I’m excited about that. It was the best two-day trip I could have taken and it made my choice obvious.”

Giuliani said while the coaching staff and the team factored into his decision to commit to Duke, there were a number of other reasons and influences. He credits his mother, Donna Hanover, as the main force behind his decision, but also said that his parents left the choice up to him.

“I want to get the best education I can,” he said. “To me, Duke is right there at the top with Harvard and Yale. The academics were the most important part of my decision.”

Another person key to the decision was current Duke freshman golfer Michael Quagliano. The two met about three years ago playing junior tournaments and quickly forged a friendship.

Duke first started recruiting Giuliani last spring. With assistant coach Kubinski in attendance, Giuliani nearly holed out a 9-iron from 140 yards on one of his first shots of the day. The ball barely lipped out, and his performance was impressive enough to warrant future consideration by the coaching staff.

After a summer of intense work on his game, Giuliani is now a scratch golfer. Last spring his high school team at St. Joseph Regional High School in Montvale, N.J., won the state tournament of champions and was ranked first in New Jersey. He won the individual competition in the parochial section of the state tournament and finished in the top five overall.

Giuliani believes that despite his famous father, he will be able to carve out his own legacy both on and off the golf course.

“There might be pressure but I’ve dealt with that my whole life,” he said. “Hopefully people will like me or not like me for the person I am.” He added that the Duke golf staff made it clear to him when they began recruiting him that they considered him like any other incoming freshman, and that he would not be treated any differently.

In addition to his excellence in golf, Giuliani also plays football for St. Joseph and has been a standout place kicker for the team. He said, though, that current place kicker Matt Brooks should not be worried about his starting spot because he plans to concentrate all his energy on golf.

“Once my football season is done I’m looking forward to putting all my energy into improving my golf game,” Giuliani said. “I’m going to work my butt off.”

He said that his parents are very proud of him, most of all because of Duke’s academic reputation. He also added that his father is enthused about taking in a game at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

For now, though, Giuliani must complete his senior year and the golf team must wait until next fall for his addition.

“Those 48 hours gave me a good idea about Duke being the right place for me for the next four years, both athletically and academically,” he said.

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