Look for 15 to play the most difficult this week


FARMINGDALE, N.Y. - The par-4, 459-yard 15th hole at Bethpage Black figures to have a major say in who wins the 109th U.S. Open come Sunday. The toughest hole in the 2002 Open here, the elevated green sits some 50 feet above the driving zone. Making it more difficult is the two-tiered green, which slopes significantly from back to front.

'It's a very interesting hole because you have to get the ball in play in order to get the ball on the green,' said Tiger Woods, the winner here in '02. 'To get the ball on the correct level is really hard to do coming in there with a long iron to an elevated green.'

Woods made a critical birdie at no. 15 during the third round in '02, answering the runs being made by Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia on the holes in front of him. It was Woods's first birdie of the day.

'It's one of the more difficult holes to make birdie on,' said Woods. 'You'll see most of the guys putting from the bowl up (the hill) and making their 4. If you can play it at 16 for the week, that's a great score.'