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By JAMAL THALJI

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 4, 2000


NAME: Tom Clifford.

HOMETOWN: New Port Richey.

HANDICAP: 25.

FAVORITE COURSE: "I would have to say my favorite golf course would probably be River Ridge. They keep it up so nice and the people who run that course are so friendly."

FAVORITE HOLE: "The No. 4 (par-3, 109-yard hole at River Ridge). You have to shoot out over the water. You have to be very accurate on it, there's a high degree of accuracy, or you would be in the water."

FAVORITE GOLFER: "I would have to say my favorite golfer would probably be Tom Lehman."

BEST PART ABOUT GOLF: "I would say the best thing about golf is that it's a personal challenge."

WORST PART ABOUT GOLF: "Playing it."

BEST PART OF HIS GAME: "I would have to say driving."

WORST PART OF HIS GAME: "Putting."

BRUSH WITH PERFECTION: "I can't even give you that. I'm kind of a dead head."

ABOUT CLIFFORD: Born and raised in Detroit, Clifford briefly worked in the auto industry before he found his calling: law enforcement. He joined the Detroit Police Department as a 23-year-old and by the time he retired decades later he had worked in the patrol, recruiting, crime prevention and executive protection divisions, the latter working the mayor's detail. He retired last year and he and his wife of four years, Susan, moved to New Port Richey. Clifford said he has been a frequent visitor to the area for nearly two decades before deciding to take up permanent residence. Sons Tommy, 36, and Adam, 20, a student at Central Michigan University, both still reside in Michigan.

-- Know a deserving Local Link? Contact Pasco Times golf writer Jamal Thalji by phone at (352) 521-5757, ext. 25; by e-mail at thalji@sptimes.com; or by fax at (352) 521-0290.

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