US Open to Return to Bethpage in 2009

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FAR HILLS, N.J. -- The United States Golf Association will announce on Thursday that the U.S. Open will return to the Black Course at Bethpage in 2009. The official dates of the tournament have not been announced.
 
Bethpage became the first true public course to stage the USGA's National Championship when it hosted 102nd Open in June. This announcement comes less than one week after another public course, Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California, was offered the 2008 U.S. Open.
 
David Fay, executive director of the USGA, and New York Governor George Pataki are expected to make the announcement at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale at a Thursday afternoon press conference. Fay said in June the championship would return to Bethpage, and it was more a matter of when, not if.
 
The 2002 Open at Bethpage, which Tiger Woods won by three strokes over Phil Mickelson, was the highest grossing Open championship in history and set an attendance record.
 
'There is no greater testament to the overwhelming success of this year's Open than the return of the national championship to the Black Course in 2009,' Pataki said in a prepared statement.
 
Some golfers criticized Bethpage for different reasons. A few thought the setup was so difficult it was hard to reach certain fairways with their drives. Other golfers complained that the behavior of fans wasn't very good.
 
New York-area fans won't have to wait too long for the Open to return, as the 2004 U.S. Open is slated to take place at Shinnecock Hills in Southampton.
 
Other upcoming sites that will host the U.S. Open include Olympia Fields in 2003, Pinehurst in 2005, Winged Foot in Westchester, NY in 2006 and Oakmont Country Club in 2007.