Photo: Barton Silverman, The New York Times
With only one week remaining until the world's best tee it up at Bethpage Black for the U.S. Open, we read this article in the New York Times about the unique process that allows amateur golfers to play the same course the pros will play. While the rules can be somewhat confusing, ultimately, the best way for you to secure a tee time on the Black course is to spend a night, maybe more, in your car to snag one of the walk-up tee times. You don't have to "know someone," you don't have to empty your bank account...you just have to be dedicated and maybe a little lucky.
So we want to know...would you do it? Would you sleep in your car for the chance to play a U.S Open course? If you have done it, we would love to hear about it. Just click on COMMENTS.
We spoke with Ian Poulter, David Toms and Ben Crane this week about how they prepare for a U.S. Open and what they think of graduated rough as part of the course set-up. Three fairly different answers, one common theme...this will be the most difficult test of golf they face all year.
Click here to begin the slideshow.:
Wednesday was the final practice day at Bethpage before the competition really begins on Thursday. And apparently that's not all that begins on Thursday. Word is rain will be the story this entire week and the course is already completely saturated from a very wet month in the northeast. It's already pouring here Thursday morning and the wind is whistling, but it was gorgeous on Wednesday so we headed out to take in the action!
What strikes you after you spend some time on the Black course at Bethpage is just how tough of a walk it is. The routing is pretty good with most tees and greens close together, but the elevation changes are what wear you down. It seems like every hole has an elevated tee and green but you're not only walking up and down all day, most of the time you're walking on the side of a hill. One upside to all the rain the course has received is everything is very lush and green. One downside, of course, is that includes the rough. It's not the height that strikes you (it's probably about 3-4 inches deep) but just how thick it is. From the tee you may think you have some room to land your ball off the fairway before the fescue comes in to play but when the rough swallows your golf ball, you'll quickly realize how vital it is to be in the fairway.
The players seemed pretty relaxed although it wasn't very busy in the afternoon as most headed out early to get some rest. Rain or not, this is the U.S. Open and it demands near perfection in every aspect of the game. Get ready for an exciting, grueling week of championship golf.
We want to know, have you ever played Bethpage Black? If so, what was your experience? What do you remember the most and what was your most memorable hole? Click on COMMENT and let us know!
This U.S. Open is becoming known for the luck of the draw. It's not how you play, as much as when you play. Players, like Ross Fisher, who were slated for an afternoon start time on Thursday didn't actually begin their round until Friday afternoon. By that time, most of the rain had cleared and conditions were very receptive for scoring. As luck would have it, that same wave of players also got the better conditions Saturday morning and many have taken advantage. This "afternoon" group (72.86) has a scoring average two shots better than the wave that played in pretty miserable conditions Thursday and Friday (74.76). Click on the image below to hear Fisher's take on the situation and how he's preparing for the final two rounds.
Ross Fisher (2-under par)
It's Sunday night of U.S. Open week and there's still a lot of golf to be played before the champion is crowned. Players completed the third round early Sunday morning and all the groups were out on the course playing the final round when play was suspended at 7:58 ET due to darkness. The players will be back out on the course Monday at 9am...barring any weather delays, of course!
Click on the images below to hear what Ross Fisher (-2), Hunter Mahan (-2) and Bubba Watson (E) had to say following their third rounds. Will you be watching the final round on Monday?
Click on COMMENTS to let us know.
Hunter Mahan (2-under par)
Bubba Watson (Even par)