Category: Bethpage Black

September 17, 2013

Bethpage Black to host 2024 Ryder Cup and 2019 PGA Championship

Posted at 10:27 AM by Coleman McDowell
Bethpage Black

(The opening hole at Bethpage Black, ranked No. 23 in Golf Magazine's Top 100 U.S. Course Rankings and No. 36 in the Top 100 World Course Rankings. Photo by Evan Schiller)

After the 2009 U.S. Open, Phil Mickelson fully advocated the idea of a Ryder Cup at Bethpage Black.

"The people here are incredible, and I just keep thinking that this is like the ideal spot to hold the Ryder Cup," he said. "First of all, the course is terrific, because 16, 17 and 18 are so close together. And the way the fans are, I think we would have a big advantage."

He'll get his wish in 2024.

In a press conference held onsite at Bethpage Black in Long Island, N.Y., the PGA of America announced the 2024 Ryder Cup and 2019 PGA Championship would be held on the historic public track.

"One of the reasons we feel so good about the PGA Championship, is that it's a great golf course. But there is so much room, so much space and so much land. That element is unbelievable exciting," said PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua.

"New York State loves golf," Governor Andrew Cuomo said. "The cherry on the cake is that this is at Bethpage, as they refer to it as the People's Country Club."


The players won't have the option to "Tee It Forward" and will face every inch of the 7,468-yard Black Course, which was designed by A.W. Tillinghast and opened in 1936. The course features a famous sign near the first tee that offers a forboding message for 20-handicaps (see right), but the course is public and can be played by any golfer.

The venue has previously hosted two majors. Tiger Woods won the '02 U.S. Open and was the only player under par for the championship with a winning score of -3. Lucas Glover took the wet and muddy '09 U.S. Open with a winning score of -4. Mickelson was second in both events. 

"This is one of the greatest venues in America. I can’t imagine this isn’t a place where the PGA will want to come back for decades and decades," Bevacqua said. "And to be able to bring two of the most popular events in golf, two of the most exciting events in sports, the PGA Championship and The Ryder Cup to Bethpage State Park, it's amazing to think about that."

Future PGA Championship venues

2014- Valhalla Golf Club

2015- Whistling Straits 

2016- Baltustrol Golf Club 

2017- Quail Hollow Club

2018- Bellerive Country Club

Future Ryder Cup venues

2014- Gleneagles (Perthshire, Scotland)

2016- Hazeltine National Golf Club (Chaska, Minn.)

2018- Le Golf National (Paris, France)

2020- Whistling Straits (Kohler, Wisconsin) 

For more news that golfers everywhere are talking about, follow @si_golf on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube video channel.

August 13, 2013

Bethpage to get '24 Ryder Cup, '19 PGA Championship

Posted at 11:09 AM by Scooby Axson


The 2024 Ryder Cup and the 2019 PGA Championship will be held at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, N.Y., according to Golf Week.

Bethpage Black, No. 36 on Golf Magazine's Top 100 Golf Courses in the World, previously hosted the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Opens.

“I think taking a major sporting event like the Ryder Cup to what I would arguably say is the greatest sports city in the United States in New York would be a phenomenal combination,” Ted Bishop, the PGA of America’s president, said. “It’s a mammoth venue, and you’ve got a lot of possibilities for infrastructure and being able to handle crowds and the stadium-golf concept. I could give you 100 reasons why I think Bethpage certainly is very high on our radar as it relates to a Ryder Cup.”

Even though the PGA has not made an offical announcement, Bishop said the Bethpage news wasn't leaked by the organization.

“The PGA of America would not make any kind of a major announcement that would upstage any of one of our major championship partners or the PGA Tour, it’s not the right way to do things," Bishop told the Back 9 Network Radio. "I am insulted that anyone would think that.”

Phil Mickelson finished second both times the U.S. Open were last held at Bethpage and said recently that it would be an incredible idea to have the Ryder Cup there. Next year's Ryder Cup will be held September 26–28 at Glenagles Scotland. 

“I think that will give the U.S. side a distinct advantage,” he said. “I love it. I’ve been quietly hoping it would go there for years. It’s a perfect site.”


(Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

December 12, 2012

Truth & Rumors: PGA has big plans for Bethpage Black

Posted at 12:24 PM by

Tiger_bethpageTiger Woods at the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, N.Y. (Getty Images)

With no plans to bring the U.S. Open back to Bethpage Black in the near future, it appeared the famed New York muni might fade from the major championship picture in professional golf. That is until Tuesday, when PGA of America president Ted Bishop revealed his desire to bring major-caliber golf back to the Black Course to Newsday's Mark Herrmann.

Ted Bishop, the new president of the PGA of America, said Tuesday that one of his goals in office is to bring the PGA Championship and/or the Ryder Cup to Bethpage Black.

"We've just got some things to sort out with some dates in the future, but there is no decline in my interest," said Bishop, who took office last month. He and new chief executive officer Peter Bevacqua are in New York to name the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup captain Thursday.

"Honestly, I would have to tell you that if you asked me my goal for the next couple of years, it would be to make some kind of an announcement that something is going to happen at Bethpage," Bishop said.

The Black Course at Bethpage State Park hosted the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Opens, won by Tiger Woods and Lucas Glover, respectively. The USGA has announced host venues through 2019, when Pebble Beach will take the reins, and the Black is not on the list. The last PGA Tour event to be played there was this year's Barclays, the first of the four 2012 FedEx Cup playoff events.

August 22, 2012

Keegan Bradley recalls college memories of Bethpage Black

Posted at 4:24 PM by Jillian Whalen

BradleyFARMINGDALE, N.Y. -- On Wednesday at the Barclays, Keegan Bradley talked about playing clandestine eightsomes with the St. John's golf team at Bethpage Black, what he expects to hear from the New York fans this week, trying to schedule a game with Tom Brady and more. Here are the highlights.

Bradley started by saying how much he was looking forward to the week:
I love Bethpage. It's my favorite course in the world, and it feels great to be back here. A lot of really great memories of this course.

What could you tell us about the one greatest moment you've had here even though maybe it wasn't in a tournament or competition?
Yeah, I remember vividly the first time I got to come play here. We used to -- it's supposed to be secret but it's not secret anymore. The superintendent Craig Currier used to allow us to come up and play on Mondays when the course was closed. We'd pull up and park at his house and we'd start on the third hole and play, because there was nobody out here, so we could play, us all in one group,  seven, eight guys, and just having such fun little matches and basically having Bethpage Black to ourselves. I don't know if there's anybody in the world that's ever experienced that. Just great memories of the team at St. John's.

You keep telling that story, and you keep saying it's a secret. You understand if you keep telling us it's not a secret anymore, right?
Yeah, my coach called me one day, kind of joking but kind of not. He's like, "You've got to stop talking about it or we'll never get back out there." It's kind of a cool story because in 2009 I really wanted to make this U.S. Open. It was my first year as a pro and I bogeyed the last two holes of the second stage to miss by one, and I was devastated. So I'm so happy to be able to come back and play here and have a chance to play in front of these fans.

I think you told me that you had gotten a hole-in-one out here.
My first hole-in-one was on the 12th hole on the Red. My mom was out there. It was at our St. John's tournament. And what people don't realize is how good the Red Course is here. I think it's close to the Black, it just gets overshadowed a little bit.

And I also know that you have built a bond with Tom Brady. Have you had a chance to golf with him yet?
I haven't had a chance to play with him, but I'm watching as much as I can. Someday we'll get out there. He doesn't play during the season, so we're kind of in a tough spot because it's my off-season, his season. But we'll get out there.

Do you know what his handicap is?
No, but I think he's pretty good from what I hear. I think he can break 80, so I'll give him a few shots.

You're a guy that can play under pressure. What's the atmosphere like here in the playoffs, and especially on 17 when all those fans are going to be lining it?
Yeah, I think that the fans here are the most vocal of any fans maybe other than Phoenix. It's going to be a lot of fun, a lot of St. John's guys out there, which makes it great, and I think 17 -- that whole back side -- on Sunday is going to be something to remember. I think there's going to be some good and some bad. But it's going to be really fun, and I would just love to be there on Sunday to experience it late.

You said after your last win, your reaction was that you loved everyone. Do you feel that way this week?
Definitely not, no. I have a lot of "Go, Yankees" yelled at me this week. But they can have their run this year because the Red Sox are a little bit embarrassing at the moment.

Bradley will start on the back nine Thursday at 8:05 a.m. Eastern. For a full transcript of Bradley's press conference, go to

(Photo: Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images)

May 25, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Plane door lands on Florida golf course

Posted at 10:37 AM by Alan Bastable

Nervous flyers may want to skip this item. Nervous golfers, too. On Wednesday afternoon a cabin door ripped off an airborne jet and plummeted thousands of feet onto a golf course north of Miami. Nobody was hurt, according to CNN:

The Canadair CL600 jet was traveling from Opa-Locka to Pompano Beach, Florida, on Wednesday when it was diverted and landed safely at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, according to FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Berge.

The door, with retractable boarding stairs attached, crashed through trees, bouncing onto a golf course near Hallandale Beach, according to CNN affiliate WSVN, which shot video of it being removed by a tow truck.

The golf course, at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, was closed at the time.

Is Kevin Na playing too ... quickly?

Kevin Na, who was pilloried at the Players for his excruciatingly slow play, showcased a new waggle-less pre-shot routine Thursday at Colonial, and he held up just fine en route to en even-par 70, according to Richard Durrett of

Na's new routine has no waggles and takes little time. He takes one practice swing when he's at the ball, then puts the club behind the ball, looks at the target, sets his feet, and when he feels comfortable -- and it didn't take him long to feel comfortable Thursday -- he takes the club back and hits the ball.

…"Every shot is hard," Na said. "I'm constantly thinking about it. I'm not even thinking about my golf swing. That's kind of hurting me a little bit because I always have a swing thought, but right now, I have no swing thought. I don't have time to have a swing thought. I've just got to think about my pre-shot routine, get ready and go."

Here’s the kicker:

…John Huh, who has played with Na several times this season, told him he thought he was actually quicker than he needed to be.

"I said, 'John, I'm just one of those guys that if I'm going to fix it, I'm going to do it right now,' " Na said. "I'm not going to go little by little. I'm going to change the whole thing."

Sixteen-year-old girl beats up on boys at Bethpage event

Remember this name. Annie Park, a high-school junior on Long Island, won the Nassau boys high school championship Wednesday with a two-round 8-under 134 on the Red and Blue courses at Bethpage State Park. That tally shattered the tournament record by six. Newsday’s Luara Albanese has the story (it’s a pay site, however, so thanks to the extravagantly funded for ponying up and posting the details)…

Park defeated a field of 134 golfers — 133 of whom were boys. She finished six strokes ahead of Farmingdale sophomore Matt Lowe, who was the two-time defending champion and previous record holder. Lowe's younger sister, Alix, was the only other girl in the tournament.

"It feels good, I guess," Park said when asked about her victory over the boys. "I was just thinking about my own game." Lowe, an accomplished golfer who is gunning for a spot in the men's U.S. Open, was thinking about her game, too.

"She's gotta be one of the best female golfers in the world," said Lowe, 16, of Farmingdale. "It's like being hit by a freight train."

Give props to Lowe, too. He may have just delivered the quote of the year.

Tweet of the Day

June 29, 2011

Truth & Rumors: O'Hair's wayward shot saves a life

Posted at 11:30 AM by Steve Beslow

Lucky Shot

Really cool story out of Philly this weekend, where Sean O'Hair met Chris Logan, a local man who might be O'Hair's biggest fan after the PGA Tour pro beaned him at the AT&T National last year. According to Joe Juliano at, it was the shot of O'Hair's (and Logan's) life.

But he had his day cut short when a tee shot from Sean O'Hair, one of his favorite players, struck him in the left temple at the 18th hole.

As emergency medical technicians hustled him to a nearby tent to be examined, Logan had no idea this would be the luckiest day of his life.

While checking him out for a concussion, a doctor inquired about a lump just below his throat and urged him to visit his family doctor to get it checked out. The lump turned out to be a malignant tumor on his thyroid. He underwent two surgeries less than six weeks after being struck by the ball...

There were a lot of "what-ifs." What if Logan had not decided to go to the tournament? What if he had continued to follow the leaders on the back nine instead of going back to watch O'Hair play his final hole? What if he, a former caddie at Overbrook Golf Club, had done a better job of following the flight of the ball and gotten out of the way?

"I don't want to say I haven't thought about it, but..." said Logan, his voice starting to crack. "I guess fate would be the word I would use. I'm not sure how much more in depth I can go. But if there wasn't fate working that day, I'd be lying to myself. We could have stayed home. I could have stayed up around the [18th] green and just watched Sean putt."

If you've got some time, read the whole story, it's one of those great combinations of sad, funny, shocking and heartwarming, especially because O'Hair and Logan are actually from the same PA town.

New York State of Mind?

After a few years bumming around some of the nicest private courses in New Jersey, it sounds as if the Barclays is ready to make it's triumphant return to the Empire State. Brendan Prunty of the Star-Ledger looks into the rumored new location for the first leg of the FedEx Cup, two-time U.S. Open venue, Bethpage Black.

Traditionally held at Westchester Country Club, the PGA Tour and the club parted ways after the inaugural FedEx Cup Playoffs — of which The Barclays is the first event...

When the tour split with Westchester in the winter of 2007, part of the agreement was that the PGA Tour would return once to the club before 2012. But while it was assumed that would be The Barclays, that turned out not to be the case. Early last winter, it was announced that Westchester would host the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship — one of the majors for the Champions Tour, formerly the Senior PGA Tour.

That opened the door for Bethpage Black to swoop in a pick up two future dates in The Barclays rotation [in 2012 and 2016].

Rumored to have been on the outs with the USGA after hosting two U.S. Opens in a seven-year span, the brawny public golf course in Farmingdale had been searching for a big-time replacement event.

On one hand, I hate to see a tournament leave the great state of New Jersey (even though it will be back at Liberty National in 2013), but it's nice to see Bethpage getting some love from the PGA Tour. I'm still holding out hope that the Open will someday return to Bethpage Black so that it can redeem itself with a seamless (read: dry) major, but in the meantime, a FedEx Cup event is nothing to sneeze at for the world's best muni.

YouTube Video of the Day

Inspired by the PGA Tour's Golf Boys, a group of Ladies European Tour players have put together a tribute music video of their own. I'll let the footage speak for itself, but it should go without saying that the Golf Boys showed considerably more skin than their female counterparts.

August 18, 2010

Truth and Rumors: Players respond to bunker ruling, Tiger is 'finished', PGA Championship going muni

Posted at 11:28 AM by Steve Beslow

Tour Tweets
By now you've heard everybody and his mother's reaction to Dustin Johnson's two-stroke penalty at Whistling Straits (my mother's reaction: "My, he's tall."). As for Johnson's fellow PGA Tour pros, after the Championship festivities wound down, they took to the Internet and Tweeted their brains out. Intrepid blogger Stephanie Wei has compiled some of the best Johnson-related Tweets:

Stewart Cink: @donnabrookes there’s NEVER a doubt whether you’re in a bunker in St Andrews! Even the ones that have seen golf balls all year!
Not sure if relevant to Whistling, but after my 2004 Hilton Head waste area controversy, they rebuilt all wastes on course into bunkers.
In light of PGA finish, Augusta just announced new seating for patrons available in right greenside bunker by 18 green.

Joe Ogilvie: I’m stupified they are even considering penalizing Dustin, if anything it is Ground Under Repair.
Common sense would be to play everything inside the ropes as bunkers and every “bunker” that is outside the ropes as waste areas.
In crisis managemt never good to employ the “cover my ass” strategy as PGA seems to be doing. Never works. Admit set up was wrong & move on

John Daly: So that means the sandy cart paths that I saw & other players hit off of are also considered bunkers?!
So, a sandbar off Lake Michigan considered a bunker too if that’s what they’re sayin–

Rickie Fowler: Proud of the way my boy DJ handled the ruling--I think a bunker that fans have been standing in all day should be considered a waste bunker
No telling what I would have done…from the tv coverage I never once thought of him being in a bunker just thought it was a bare spot

Not a lot of surprises here: almost everyone either took Johnson's side or at least the compromise position that it was as much the course's fault as DJ's. A couple interesting notes though. First, there is no love lost between Tour players and the 18th hole at Whistling Straits. As much as these guys seem to admire the course as a whole, the "Dyeabolical" 18th gets no love whatsoever. Also, Wei herself brings up the possibility that several (and quite likely many) players broke the exact same rule throughout the week, they just weren't under as much scrutiny, so no one noticed. For some reason this situation kind of reminds me of that NFL game a couple of years ago when Donovan McNabb admitted he didn't know the NFL's overtime rule (and that games could end in ties). We all had a good laugh at him until we found out that half the league was equally clueless. Not a perfect analogy, I know, but that's what it makes me think of.

FYI, Tiger's finished
Being a member of the New York media, I try to give my fellow writers the benefit of the doubt--I often have to write articles that touch (or go slightly beyond) the borders of my personal knowledge/expertise, so I understand that other writers and reporters have to do the same. Usually, at those times I take a slow, cautious tone and try not to be overly dramatic. New York Magazine's Drew Magary has taken a slightly different approach...

Tiger Woods didn't win the PGA Championship [Sunday], or any major this year. Get used to that sort of thing happening, because Tiger Woods will never win another major championship again.

He's finished. He's not catching Jack Nicklaus. He's won what, fourteen majors? Well, that's what he'll stay on for the rest of eternity. It's a shame, because he has put his entire being into chasing Nicklaus, and we, as fans, have followed him for over a decade assuming that the record would eventually be in his grasp, and sooner rather than later. It's frustrating to get to this point and think that we'll never reach that moment with Woods. But we never will. There are a few reasons why.

Here are the reasons that Magary gives for his bold prediction (he goes into each with some detail):

1. What's the point?

2. He isn't made for this kind of adversity.

3. Other players are better now, and they aren't scared of him.

4. Turns out, Tiger Woods is not preternaturally immune to pressure.

5. He's not Tiger Woods anymore. So who is he?

I'm going to be completely honest, when I read the first paragraph of this story I assumed it was satire and, unfortunately, I was mistaken. In deference to Magary, I'm not sure that any of these statements is, in and of itself, incorrect (except for "What's the point," because, as the author states, the point is to beat Jack's record). The problem is that they amount more to grasping at straws than actually building an argument (in effect, he's answering the question: if Tiger Woods never won another major, why would that be? Rather than the question: How will Tiger Woods play for the rest of his career?) Yes, Tiger is struggling, and yes, his personal life has clearly taken a toll on his game, but the idea that he's "finished" is borderline absurd. T4, T4, T23, T28. Those are Tiger Woods' finishes in the majors this year. That means that when things were at their absolute worst, Tiger finished in the top five twice and the top 30 all four times against the toughest fields in golf. At the height of his powers in 1969, Jack Nicklaus went T24, T25, T6 and T11 in the majors. Good thing he didn't just pack up his clubs and go home.

PGA Championship going muni?
Some good notes from the AP's Doug Ferguson about the PGA Championship trying to find more reasonable public courses as host sites in the future.

Anyone wishing to take on the Whistling Straits course where Martin Kaymer won the PGA Championship and Dustin Johnson was buried by a bunker ruling need only to make a reservation and have $340 handy, along with $100 for the caddie.

That's still not as much as Pebble Beach.

Even so, there is a difference in public play between resort courses, such as Pinehurst or Pebble Beach, and true public courses, such as Bethpage Black and Torrey Pines.

The PGA Championship is lacking in the latter.

This came to mind last week during the PGA of America's annual news conference, in which president Jim Remy shifted the focus to public golf. He noted there are more 9-hole courses than 18-hole courses in America, and that 75 percent of the rounds played in the country are on public courses. He cited the average fee at just under $30.

"There are availability of reasonably priced golf courses, and I think that we need to get the message out that there is a real value to a family to be involved in a sport," Remy said.

So why isn't the PGA Championship going to such a course, which can provide a proper test and have room to stage a big event? It has been more than two decades — 1989 at Kemper Lakes outside Chicago — that the PGA Championship was held on a daily fee course.

"We've had discussions with a number of daily fee facilities, along with traditional clubs," PGA chief executive Joe Steranka said. "We'll step out of the box every now and then and try something. And right now, the USGA is doing a great part in taking it to the Bethpage Blacks and Torrey Pines."

Hard to say if the PGA actually follows through with this. Even though I'm sure they're sincere about trying to get more daily fee courses into their rotation, I imagine that the logistics of that are extremely tricky--especially finding a course that can hold the quality of golf/amount of spectators they need and that's not already on the Open circuit. I talked to a bunch of everyday golfers at Bethpage Black for our Open preview a couple of years ago, and while many of of them were excited and proud to be regulars on a U.S. Open course, they couldn't help but gripe at the number of tee times that had been cut to accommodate for the changes that had to be made and to let the course set up for the Open.


June 21, 2009

Jim Furyk says U.S. Open rain delays are no big deal

Posted at 11:29 AM by David Dusek

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. -- Rain delays have pushed the conclusion of the final round of the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage into Monday, but for veterans of the PGA Tour like Jim Furyk, it's just another week at the office.

Jim-furyk-usopen "It's a rain delay. We deal with this 12, maybe 15 times a year," he said in the clubhouse. "Coming to the U.S. Open, we've got more media that doesn't cover golf here, so we get a lot of, 'Oh no! It's a rain delay. How do you deal with it?' The same way I have the other 11 times in the last 12 months."

Furyk says that he waits out rain delays by finding a group of guys who are relaxing somewhere in the clubhouse, swapping stories and telling jokes. He likes to slide out of his golf shoes and get off his feet, but his eyes are always looking out the windows and checking the skies.

"The whole key is to relax, but make sure you are prepared to go back out," he said. "Sometimes they'll tell you, 'We want you back on the course in 45 minutes. Go!' That's the hardest part — mentally flipping the switch back into competition mode."

The winner of the 2003 U.S. Open at Olympia Fields, Furyk shot 72-69 in the first two rounds in rainy, wet conditions at Bethpage. Yet he was far from frustrated or flustered. On the contrary, he seemed to be quietly relishing this event because it was morphing into a mental meat grinder.

"You know, when you are playing well, you don't mind playing in stuff like this," he said. "When you're playing bad, it makes it tougher. You can lose the rhythm of your round if you start and stop and start again. If you are playing well and they pull you off the course and say, 'Geez, I really had it going.' And when you are playing bad, its like, 'I'd love to get off the damn golf course the way I'm playing.' "

Even the prospect of the tournament being extended past Sunday doesn't faze this veteran of 14 previous U.S. Opens. "Going into Monday and Tuesday is more of a logistical nightmare than anything else for the players," he said. "You have to deal with making arrangements for your house or hotel, cars, things like that."

He may be treating it like just another week at the office, but Furyk and the rest of the field here at Bethpage had better be ready for overtime.

(Photo: John Biever/SI)

USGA's Mike Davis lays out plan to complete U.S. Open at Bethpage Black

Posted at 10:01 AM by David Dusek

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — The U.S. Open is not going to finish on Sunday. After rain stopped Saturday evening's play and more rain fell overnight, the USGA pushed Sunday's restart time from 7:30 a.m. to noon.

Mike Davis, the USGA's senior director of rules and competitions, said the USGA decided to delay Sunday's restart because of the possibility of another heavy shower this morning in the Farmingdale area.

"Why bring the players in when there is a very good chance that we'd have to pull them off again?" Davis said.

If the weather cooperates, the third round will be completed around 4:30 local time. Players will then be re-paired for the fourth round, which is expected to begin at 5:30, with groups starting from the first and 10th tees. Davis said the final group would tee off around 7:20.

The reason for the hour delay between rounds is logistical. "There is a 25-minute shuttle ride involved in getting the players to No. 10 tee," Davis said. "So we think it would be blatantly unfair to the player, immediately coming out of the scoring tent, to be told, 'Go run and get on the shuttle to make your next tee time.' "

If the skies remain overcast, which is expected, then the USGA hopes play can continue until about 7:55 or 8 p.m. If the sun comes out, play could continue until 8:15 or 8:20, according to Davis.

The fourth round will resume on Monday morning, but specific times have yet to be determined.

"If we start at 5:30 [Sunday], there's about six hours of golf per wave, you're realistically only going to get about two to two-and-a-half hours of golf in," Davis said. "That's going to leave you about three and a half hours to go to finish up round four [on Monday]. So we'll finish before noon tomorrow, assuming that we don't get thrown something from Mother Nature that we're not expecting."

If there is a tie after the fourth round and a playoff is needed, it would start Monday afternoon if USGA officials were confident it could be finished before dark. If rain causes more delays tomorrow, a playoff could be pushed to Tuesday.

"If we are somehow delayed again tomorrow, we've already made the decision that if it got later than 3:45 or 4:00, we wouldn't start a playoff," Davis said. "The last thing we want is a playoff where they have to come back to play just one or two holes. That's just not the competitive situation that we want."

Based on the forecasts, however, Davis feels confident a playoff could be started and completed Monday afternoon.

Davis noted that Bethpage Black is draining well, and that light rain is not the problem. "Believe it or not, this course can keep handling this, as long as we don't get the downpours. The water is seeping down because it is a sandy, loam soil. So that's the great part. Believe me, if we were at some U.S. Open venues right now and this were happening, I can't even begin to think about what we'd be doing."

June 20, 2009

Turning up the volume on Bethpage

Posted at 6:33 PM by Alan Shipnuck

As I write this, today's golf is reaching the end of its 11th hour. The skies are still grim, the rain is still falling, but something magical has happened at Bethpage since the 5:30 p.m. restart: the fun is back!

All the hand-wringing about the rain-check policy and the weather delays has been replaced by the raucous cheers that defined the last Bethpage Open. Maybe the fans are delirious from such a long day. Or drunk from the long break between the end of the second round and the start of the third.

Whatever, it's delightful to hear the roars again. It's taken a while, but it feels like the U.S. Open has finally begun. Hopefully this energy can be sustained tomorrow, and maybe, just maybe, this tournament will get the memorable end it deserves.

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