Rain makes Bethpage Black even tougher - COPIED

By Associated PressJune 19, 2009, 4:00 pm
2009 U.S. OpenFARMINGDALE, N.Y. ' Its almost impossible to find a golfer who doesnt use the words difficult or long in describing Bethpage Black.
It is impossible to find anyone connected with the U.S. Open who doesnt want to keep the rain away.
With a recent rain history approaching biblical proportions, and a forecast that has umbrella salespeople smiling, the 7,426-yard, par-70 public course that is hosting the Open for a second time this decade is throwing a wet blanket over the chances of a lot of golfers.
When I practiced yesterday, (it was) the first time that I saw one of the more difficult golf courses in my life, probably because of the rain, Eduardo Romero said Wednesday.
Come on, how much rain does it take to bother the worlds best golfers?
Its a big golf course. Its a wide golf course. Right now its extremely soft. Obviously the rain, the weather has not been our friend. Its rained in this area something like 30 of the last 45 days, Jim Hyler, chairman of the USGAs championship committee, said, referring to Long Island. So we have an extremely wet golf course out there. Bethpage would play long in any condition. But particularly with the softness, it will play longer.
When the Open was held at Bethpage Black in 2002, it was the longest course in Open history at 7,214 yards. Since then, three Open courses were longer and only Torrey Pines, which played last year at 7,643, will be longer than this years layout.
Bethpage Black will have three of the longest par 4s in Open history, including the 525-yard seventh, the longest non-par 5 ever played.
Chad Campbell hit driver off the tee and another off the fairway on No. 7 during a practice round. He was asked if he had ever done that before on a par 4.
Not when its not raining, and cold and howling, he said. It was wet, but pretty calm when I tried this.
Did the double driver get him on the green?
Nope, he said with a smile. Im not very good at hitting driver off the deck. At least I learned I cant do that very well.
The field may have to learn a lot in a hurry about playing a wet Bethpage Black.
The forecast called for rain to begin Wednesday and carry into Thursday, the first day of competition.
It could be as much as half to an inch of rain, Hyler said. If we get an inch of rain, it will definitely impact what we do. We certainly hope the thunder and lightning stays away. We can certainly play in the rain.
They did in 2002. Showers, heavy at times, lasted all day Friday and there was a 49-minute delay for severe weather late in the final round on Sunday.
But the course hadnt taken on as much water as it has now. Intermediary rough becomes a problem. Deep rough becomes a penalty.
The issue is the golf course and how much more water it can take and continue to play, Hyler said. The area of most concern is the 18th fairway. That is built on a swamp. And it is a swamp ' I guess thats the best way to say it. It is a swamp. It does not drain very well. Its very, very wet.
At 411 yards, the 18th is one of the shortest of the par 4s. Theres plenty more for the golfers to worry about before they reach it.
From tee to green, this golf course is all you want, said Tiger Woods, the defending champion and the winner the last time the Open was played on Bethpage Black. With the weather coming in here this week, its only going to get longer and harder and its going to be even more difficult.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage -2009 U.S. Open
  • First- and Second-Round Tee Times
  • Sectional Qualifying results
  • Bethpage Black Ballpark
  • Getty Images

    Watch: Tiger throws dart, pours in birdie at 8

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 18, 2018, 7:31 pm

    Starting Sunday five off the lead, Tiger Woods teed off his final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a laced 2-iron and a par at No. 1.

    Woods hit the green at the par-3 second but left himself a 50-foot birdie putt and a 6-footer to save par, which we walked in.

    A two-putt 4 at the par-5 fourth gave Woods his first birdie of the day and moved him to 8 under for the week. Apparently energized, Tiger pulled driver at the short par-4 fifth and unleashed this violent swing.

    A pitch from the thick rough hit a sprinkler head and stopped on the apron, leading to this birdie try, which fortunately hit the pin but unfortunately didn't fall.

    Looking to pick up another stroke - or two - at the par-5 sixth, Woods took his drive 317 yards over the water and hit this second shot from 227 yards to 13 feet, leading to another two-putt birdie when his eagle try burned the right edge.

    Returning to his trusty 2-iron, Tiger found the fairway at par-4 eighth and then threw this dart from 176 yards to 6 feet and rolled in his third birdie putt of the day to move to 10 under.

    (More coming...)

    Getty Images

    Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

    By Tiger TrackerMarch 18, 2018, 5:00 pm

    Tiger Woods will start Sunday five off the lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. How will he follow up last week's runner-up? We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

    Getty Images

    McIlroy: Time for Tour to limit alcohol sales on course

    By Ryan LavnerMarch 18, 2018, 1:50 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. – Rory McIlroy suggested Saturday that the PGA Tour might need to consider curbing alcohol sales to stop some of the abusive fan behavior that has become more prevalent at events.

    McIlroy said that a fan repeatedly yelled his wife’s name (Erica) during the third round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

    “I was going to go over and have a chat with him,” McIlroy said. “I think it’s gotten a little much, to be honest. I think they need to limit the alcohol sales on the course, or they need to do something, because every week it seems like guys are complaining about it more and more.

    Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

    Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

    “I know that people want to come and enjoy themselves, and I’m all for that, but sometimes when the comments get personal and people get a little bit rowdy, it can get a little much.”

    This isn’t the first time that McIlroy has voiced concerns about fan behavior on Tour. Last month at Riviera, he said the rowdy spectators probably cost Tiger Woods a half-shot a round, and after two days in his featured group he had a splitting headache.

    A week later, at the Honda Classic, Justin Thomas had a fan removed late in the final round.

    McIlroy believes the issue is part of a larger problem, as more events try to replicate the success of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which has one of the liveliest atmospheres on Tour.

    “It’s great for that tournament, it’s great for us, but golf is different than a football game, and there’s etiquette involved and you don’t want people to be put off from bringing their kids when people are shouting stuff out,” he said. “You want people to enjoy themselves, have a good day.”

    As for a solution, well, McIlroy isn’t quite sure.

    “It used to be you bring beers onto the course or buy beers, but not liquor,” he said. “And now it seems like everyone’s walking around with a cocktail. I don’t know whether (the solution) is to go back to letting people walking around with beers in their hands. That’s fine, but I don’t know.”

    Getty Images

    Confident Lincicome lurking after 54 holes at Founders

    By Randy SmithMarch 18, 2018, 2:45 am

    PHOENIX – Brittany Lincicome is farther back than she wanted to be going into Sunday at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, but she’s in a good place.

    She’s keeping the momentum of her season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic victory going this year.

    Her confidence is high.

    “Last year, I won in the Bahamas, but then I didn't do anything after that,” Lincicome said. “I don't even know if I had a top 10 after my win in the Bahamas. Obviously, this year, I want to be more consistent.”

    Lincicome followed up her victory in the Bahamas this year with a tie for seventh in her next start at the Honda LPGA Thailand. And now she’s right back on another leaderboard with the year’s first major championship just two weeks away. She is, by the way, a two-time winner at the ANA Inspiration.

    Missy Pederson, Lincicome’s caddie, is helping her player keep that momentum going with more focus on honing in the scoring clubs.

    “One of our major goals is being more consistent,” Pederson said. “She’s so talented, a once in a generation talent. I’m just trying to help out in how to best approach every golf course.”

    Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

    Pederson has helped Lincicome identify the clubs they’re likely to attack most with on the particular course they are playing that week, to spend more time working with those clubs in practice. It’s building confidence.

    “I know the more greens we hit, and the more chances we give ourselves, the more our chances are to be in contention,” Pederson said. “Britt is not big into stats or details, so I have to figure out how to best consolidate that information, to get us exactly where we need to be.”

    Lincicome’s growing comfort with clubs she can attack with is helping her confidence through a round.

    “I’ve most noticed consistency in her mental game, being able to handle some of the hiccups that happen over the course of a round,” Pederson said. “Whereas before, something might get under her skin, where she might say, `That’s what always happens,’ now, it’s, `All right, I know I’m good enough to get this back.’ I try to get her in positions to hit the clubs we are really hitting well right now.”

    That’s leading to a lot more birdies, fewer bogeys and more appearances on leaderboards in the start to this year.