Bethpage Black, the brawny Long Island layout that has played host to two recent U.S. Opens, will be the site of the 2019 PGA Championship and the 2024 Ryder Cup, the PGA of America announced today.
Golfweek, citing sources close to the negotiations, reported the pending announcement Aug. 12.
Bethpage Black, the 1935 A.W. Tillinghast design in Farmingdale, generated massive crowds for the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Opens, won by Tiger Woods and Lucas Glover, respectively. The Black course is ranked No. 21 on the Golfweek’s Best Classic list.
“How fitting it is that we will be taking two of golf’s premier events to a state that was the site of our first PGA Championship (in 1916 at Siwanoy Country Club) and to a spectacular course whose design was influenced by one of golf’s most accomplished architects and a friend of the PGA of America,” PGA president Ted Bishop said. “It is exciting that both the PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup will come to New York, which is home to some of the most passionate and knowledgeable sports fans in the world.”
Another appeal would be Phil Mickelson. His Open shortcomings continued while taking runner-up honors in both events at Bethpage, but he emerged as a fan favorite. Mickelson would be 54 at the 2024 Ryder Cup and could be a potential U.S. captain.
Mickelson, speaking during last month’s PGA Championship about Bethpage’s potential for a Ryder Cup, called it “an incredible idea.”
“I think that will give the U.S. side a distinct advantage,” he said. “I love it. I’ve been quietly hoping it would go there for years. It’s a perfect site.”
Steve Stricker, also speaking during the PGA Championship, said: “I played with Phil there the last time on Saturday (in ’09), and I haven’t heard a crowd that boisterous and loud ever. I’d be scared for the Europeans.”
Webb Simpson, speaking during the Wyndham Championship, agreed that the fan support can make a difference as long as they don’t rile up their opponents: “If they start saying things that are unfair, that’s when the Europeans start playing well. So they need to do it the right way.”
The Americans could use the advantage. After last year’s stunning 14 1/2-13 1/2 European victory, the Americans lead the biennial series, 25-12-2. Europe has won seven of the past nine Ryder Cups.
Tom Watson will captain the Americans next year at Glenagles Scotland. The future sites for the matches: Hazeltine National in Chaska, Minn. (2016), Le Golf National in Paris (2018) and Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis. (2020).
Bringing the PGA’s crown jewels to Bethpage is a feather in the cap for the PGA’s Pete Bevacqua, who is in his first full year as chief executive officer. Every summer as a kid, Bevacqua, a New York native, and his father turned Wednesdays into all-day affairs consisting of 36 holes at Bethpage Black, a dip at Jones Beach and steak dinner on the way home.
Of his beloved Bethpage, Bevacqua said in January, “You won’t find a bigger fan of the place.”