9 holes with: Alexi Giannoulias

His first shot sliced into the ninth fairway, but his triple-bogey was good for a push. He stunned me with an up-and-down for double bogey on No. 3.

"What's up and down?" he asked.

As a kid growing up in Edgewater/Rogers Park, Giannoulias had no time for golf. He practically lived on the basketball court at St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church on Sheridan Road. Many of his Friday and Saturday nights consisted of three activities: "Shoot. Shoot. Shoot."

After Boston University, he played professionally in Greece, teaming with Bo Kimble for some of the best times of his life, except when he got stuck with a $4,000 dinner tab on his birthday. (A tradition in Greece, or so he was told.)

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While focused on his wealth-management job, Giannoulias could re-enter politics. He emphasizes the environment, ethics reform, financial literacy in high schools and making college more affordable.

After I made par on No. 9 to win our match, Giannoulias was out $10 for the visor. I was hoping it would cost more, of course.

"This has been the best day," he said. "Beautiful weather, played hoops and let you win in golf."


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Alexi Giannoulias

Five-second bio: The former Division I college basketball player (Boston University) ran for his friend President Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat in 2010.

Where: Bryn Mawr Country Club, Lincolnwood (Green tees: 3,240 yards).

Giannoulias' handicap: "What if I told you I've never (recorded) a score?"

What he shot: 59 for nine holes.

His take on golf: "I prefer sports where you sweat more."