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Friday, August 18, 2017

Vote for Larry!

Phoenix Police Lt. Larry Giebelhausen, has an opportunity to play golf in a celebrity pro-am with big name celebrities like Michael Jordon at the U.S. Open this year if he can beat out the competition in a contest sponsored by Golf Digest. Out of 73,000 entrants, Giebelhausen has been named in the final four, but he needs votes. Friends, family, co-workers, fellow golfers and the Phoenix Community at large can vote once a day, every day through May 1 at GDOPENCONTEST.com

“I’m up against a few East Coast guys, so hopefully everyone west of the Mississippi will vote for me,” he said.

He is still amazed about how it all came about.

Geiblhausen said he happened to see the contest advertised online in Golf Digest. The object was to ask amateur golfers to write a six-word essay, associating their career with their love of golf. The winner will play with three celebrities including Jordan during the U.S. Open Celebrity Pro-Am at the Black Course at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, NY in June.

“It’s still very surreal. I can’t believe that out of 73,000 entrants that I am in the final four,” he said.

Geibelhausen’s offering was: “I’m a cop. I’ll shoot low.”

“They liked my slogan. It was catchy and it rang a bell with them,” he said. “That alone got me into the final 25, just the six words. I was contacted by people from Golf Digest and two of their folks actually flew out on February 19. I spoke to them 30 or 40 minutes. They were trying to pare it down to the final 10.”

He said a few weeks later he and the other final 10 were flown to West Palm Beach Florida to play golf on a PGA course there.

“It was first class. The people from Golf Digest were fantastic. We all played a round of golf in front of cameras with 30 or 40 spectators. They basically wanted to see what caliber of golfers we were. I think they wanted to make sure we weren’t hacks and could at least play some fairly decent golf and make sure we were not veiled professionals. They truly wanted amateurs. They were trying to pare it down to the final four.”

He said he was notified he made the cut about a week later, and the news was hard for him to contain because he was sworn to secrecy. They didn’t want it to come out nationally or get into the local media.
He is the only finalist from the West Coast. His competition is Bob Ray,53, a fire chief from Maryland who entered “Fire chief burns up the course.” Philippe de Kerillis, 39, a doctor from Pennsylvania, penned “ER doctor ready for Bethpage Trauma.” Another doctor Dale Matthews,55, from Virginia, wrote “I’m a doctor. I understand pain.”

Giebelhausen, 58, hopes everyone will go online to vote for him.

“We are all proud of and support Larry. It is nice that after so many years of serving the public that he has the possibility of an enjoyable outing on the golf course under special circumstances. We think he is most worthy and wish him all the best both in the contest and on the course.” said Sgt. Andy Hill, media relations sergeant for the police department.

Giebelhausen, who works out of the Desert Horizon Precinct in Phoenix, plays golf only a few times a month. He does not belong to a club, but plays at public golf courses and at some of the resorts in the area. Since he had to be a member of the USGA to be a finalist in the contest, he only recently learned he has an eight handicap.

If he wins he will be flown to Bethpage the second week of June and play golf with the three celebrities, which will be filmed by NBC. The film will be edited and shown on television just before the final round of the open on June 21.

Giebelhausen began his law enforcement career in 1973 in Chicago. He moved to the Phoenix Police Department in 1989.

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