August 22, 2019, 0:07

PGA Championship: Previous majors played at Bethpage Black

PGA Championship: Previous majors played at Bethpage Black

This year will be the first time that Bethpage Black has hosted the PGA Championship, but the course has already staged two majors with the 2002 and 2009 US Opens played there.

Bethpage Black is a public golf course at Bethpage State Park, on Long Island in the State of New York, and opened in 1936.

In 2002, the Black Course became the first publicly owned and operated course to host the US Open, with Tiger Woods triumphing, and the tournament returned there in 2009 when Lucas Glover prevailed.

Here, we take a look back at those two previous majors to be played at Bethpage Black….

2002

The course more than lived up to its reputation as a demanding test in the first round of the 102nd US Open, with only six players under par as Tiger Woods led the way with a three-under 67 which put him one ahead of Spain’s Sergio Garcia at the top of the leaderboard.

The second round on the Friday was played in persistent rain and Woods made the most of his early start by making birdies at the opening two holes to extend his lead. He eventually settled for a two-under 68 which put him three clear of Ireland’s Padraig Harrington (68) on five under. There was then another four-shot gap to Garcia (74), KJ Choi (73), Davis Love III (71) and Jeff Maggert (73) who were tied for third.

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“It’s definitely mentally draining, because on every golf shot you are tested,” Woods said afterwards. “There’s not one shot you can step up and kind of relax and ho-hum it out there. You’ve got to hit a good golf shot. And once you get to the greens, your work is not finished. There aren’t easy putts out there.”

The third round on Saturday attracted a raucous crowd of New Yorkers and it was Phil Mickelson who received some of the loudest roars as he moved into contention with a three-under 67.

“Well, it’s an incredible feeling making a putt on any of these greens, because the galleries have been so supportive and exuberant for the players,” Mickelson said, who got within two shots of Woods at one stage.

Woods was two over for the first 14 holes before making a birdie at the 15th thanks to a superb approach shot and he followed that up by holing a six-foot birdie putt at the 17th as he signed for a level-par 72. That left him four clear of Garcia, who shot a 67 despite finding himself the target of abuse from the fans. Mickelson was one further back going into the final round, alongside Maggert (68).

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Woods, then 26, had to deal with strong winds as well as the triple threat of Garcia, Mickelson and Maggert in the final round and he saw his lead halved from four to two after he started off with back-to-back bogeys.

However, he steadied the ship with birdies at the seventh and 13th which allowed him the luxury of a three-putt bogey at the 18th for a two-over 72 and three-under total of 277 which gave him a three-shot victory over Mickelson (70), with Maggert (72) two further back and Garcia (74) on three over in fourth.

It was Woods’ second US Open victory and his eighth major success, while he also became the first man in 30 years to win the opening two majors of the year, although he failed to make it three at The Open.

2009

Woods was the defending champion when the US Open returned to Bethpage Black for its 109th edition seven years later, but he failed to retain the title and eventually finished in a tie for sixth with the tournament carried over to Monday after a number of suspensions of play due to heavy rain over the previous four days.

Play was first suspended at 10.15am on the Thursday morning and the first round did not resume until Friday morning, with Canadian Mike Weir eventually carding a six-under 64 to lead by two from Sweden’s Peter Hanson.

Woods severely damaged his chances as he signed for a four-over 74 which included two double-bogeys and three bogeys.

The second round began at 5pm on Friday and finished on Saturday afternoon, although there were plenty of birdie opportunities due to the soft conditions, with Ricky Barnes shooting a 65 to lead at eight under, one ahead of fellow American Lucas Glover, who fired a 64. Woods was 11 off the pace on three over – making the cut by one – following a one-under 69.

More heavy rain halted the third round on Saturday evening and play did not resume until midday on Sunday as Barnes and Glover both carded 70s to remain at the top of the leaderboard, with David Duval and England’s Ross Fisher sharing third on three under.

The front two only played two holes of their final round on Sunday evening, so the main action all took place on Monday, when Barnes faltered on the front nine with five bogeys.

That handed the initiative to Glover, whose three-over 73 proved to be good enough to secure the first and, so far, only major of his career, finishing on four-under 276 and two ahead of Barnes, Duval – who triple-bogeyed the third – and Phil Mickelson, who tied for the lead with Glover after an eagle at the 13th before dropping back.

Woods made a charge on the back nine with birdies at the 13th and 14th but a bogey at the 15th ended his challenge as he carded a 69 to finish on level par.

“I gave myself so many chances and made nothing,” Woods said.

Source: skysports.com

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