Donald Zucker has big plans for Long Island National golf course in Riverhead
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Donald Zucker still has yet to begin the formal planning for Long Island National in Riverhead, which he bought this week in a bankruptcy sale. What he does promise, though, is that it will be a new day for the course, and a good day.
"It is such a great golf course, and we are going to keep it as a golf course," the Manhattan real estate developer said Friday during the U.S. Women's Open at Sebonack Golf Club, where he is a member.
Golf cognoscenti at the Open this week believe Zucker made a great deal in getting the public course for $6 million. Zucker hopes to stage another revival like the one at North Shore Country Club in Glen Head, a private club that was on the verge of demise before he rescued it in 2009. He hired Tom Doak, co-designer of Sebonack, to renovate the Seth Raynor design.
"I'm so pleased with what's happening at North Shore. We're attracting new members left and right," Zucker said. "We have kids all over the place. The kids have the same rights as anybody."
Zucker became a golf enthusiast later in life, but fell in love with the sport head over heels. He said he heard only good things about Robert Trent Jones Jr.'s layout at Long Island National, and that prompted him to bid on it. He added, "I will have Tom Doak put his eyes on it."
Brown qualifies for PGA
Mark Brown, the head pro at Tam O'Shanter in Brookville, said he went into the national club pro championship in Oregon this past week with just one swing thought: Maintaining his posture. It worked so well that Brown qualified for the PGA Championship to be held at Oak Hill in Rochester, N.Y. in August.
"The highest honor for any PGA pro is to compete in a major," Brown said. "The four I've played in have all been fun and memorable."
It also helped that he went up to Glenarbor in Westchester for a short-game session with Rob Labritz, the former Shinnecock Hills assistant who is director of golf up there. Who could be a better resource than Labritz? He also qualified for the PGA by sinking a 95-yard wedge shot on the second playoff hole.
LIer returns scorecard
Lizette Salas was keeping score for her playing companion, Angela Stanford, and lost the card just off the 18th green on Friday. At the time, she said that a spectator had picked it up. "I think he was trying to keep it as a souvenir," Salas said.
Not so, said Newsday reader Tod Cagan of East Meadow. He identified himself as the one who wound up with the card. He said that Salas inadvertently handed the scorecard to him as she handed back a hat that she signed for Cagan's daughter. "I discovered the scorecard when I returned to the grandstand on 18," he said in an email. "I would never consider keeping it. I ran as fast as I could over to the official and returned it."
Two locals in Senior Open
Mark Mielke, head pro at Mill River in Oyster Bay, and Southampton native Bruce Zabriski, each shot par in a sectional qualifier at Garden City Country Club Thursday and made it into the U.S. Senior Open, to be held in Omaha next week.