Soft conditions lead to soft setup


FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Ran into Mike Davis – the U.S. Golf Association’s top set-up man – this morning and, as expected, he took the cautious route for Thursday’s setup at Bethpage Black.

With more than an inch of rain in the forecast and winds up to 25 mph, most of the tees on the monster muni have been worked forward to avoid the problems that besieged the championship in 2002.

Tees have been moved forward at the 7th (36 yards), 9th (41 yards), 10th (30 yards) and 12th (5 yards) holes and officials have crews to clear greens of water at every hole.

“I think we’ll get the first wave out on the golf course,” said Jim Hyler, chairman of the USGA’s championship committee. “But it’s very wet. By the time the second group got to the second green they were already using the squeegees.”

Hyler said the key to continuing play is how the 18th fairway holds up. The closer is one of the lowest points on the course and could determine how much golf is played on Thursday, which likely prompted eye rolls from travel editor Erik Peterson who played the Black last month in a gale.

What kind of world is it that Tour players are softer than golf writers?