Shorter, wetter Bethpage still a test

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Yes, officials pushed up some tees, so Bethpage Black wasn’t stretched to the 7,426 yards that is available. And yes, fairways were soft and wide and greens were soft and dartboard-like, but still, there are serious challenges out here.

Take the par-4 seventh hole, for instance. It can play as much as 525 yards, though officials for the first round had it at 489. But with a sharp dogleg right and a bit of a hurting wind, it was all players could handle. Want proof? Geoff Ogilvy needed to hit driver, 3-wood to reach. Worked out pretty good, too, as his sizzling approach was jammed just 12 feet behind the hole. It resulted in Ogilvy’s only birdie of the day as he shot 73.

And just when was the last time he made a birdie by hitting a 3-wood into a par 4? Ogilvy smiled and said, “A long time ago. I can’t even remember.”

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