Tom Bucci makes history for a good cause

You can forgive Tom Bucci if he doesn't want to pick up a golf club for the next two weeks.

The 44-year-old Latham resident played enough rounds of golf last week to last a year. And he did it all to fight diabetes.

Bucci played 1,801 holes of golf last week (100 rounds plus one hole) at the Albany Country Club in Guilderland to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the American Diabetes Association.

In the process, Bucci set a Guinness world record for most holes played over seven days, beating out Troy Grant's record set five years ago in Australia by one hole. But, Bucci said, setting the world record wasn't his primary objective.

It's about raising the money and the awareness about diabetes, said Bucci, whose wife, Sheila, has been battling the disease for nearly 38 years. "The golf was just the side show to raising awareness about this disease."

Bucci planned this fund-raising event since last fall, but didn't let his family in on his plans until last month.

"When they found out, they thought it was pretty neat," said Bucci, who has two daughters " Kristi, 18, and Karli, 10. "They thought I could do it, even if I had my doubts."

In order to pull off the feat, Bucci needed to be at Albany Country Club (where he is a member) every morning to tee off at 5 a.m. and not stop playing until it got too dark to see.

"Everything was done on the course, except to go to the bathroom," said Bucci. "My family and friends brought me peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Gatorade [and] bananas, and I ate on the course."

Initially, Bucci tried commuting from his Latham home to the golf course, but getting up at 4 a.m. every morning to hustle his way to Guilderland became too much for him to take.

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