Mud balls almost guaranteed this week


FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – The chances the U.S. Golf Association will put “lift, clean and place” into play at this week’s U.S. Open is about the same as the chances frogs will fall from the clouds with all the rain forecast at Bethpage Black.

Asked about the possibility of implementing a provision that would allow players to put their hands on a golf ball in play, Vice President James Hyler Jr. did not mince words.

“No,” he said.

Asked if he was then prepared to take the tournament into Monday, he said: “We are not going to play lift, clean and place. We will suspend. If it’s not fair to be playing the ball as it lies, we’ll suspend play. We will stay here until we get a champion.”

Hyler said he did not believe lift, clean and place has ever been implemented in a USGA event.

Bethpage Black has received rain in 30 of the last 45 days. There was no rain Wednesday, but the course is soft and spongy with rain forecast the rest of the week.