AP: Barclays looking at Bethpage Black for ’12
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
LOS ANGELES – The Barclays wants to take its FedEx Cup playoff event to Bethpage Black in 2012.
A person informed of the plans told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Barclays and the PGA Tour are negotiating to bring the tournament to the Long Island public course that has hosted two U.S. Opens.
The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information, said such a deal would need approval by the New York state parks and recreation department and the tour’s policy board.
The Barclays, the opening playoff event for the FedEx Cup, has rotated around New York and northern New Jersey since the FedEx Cup began in 2007. It has gone from Westchester to Liberty National to Ridgewood Country Club, and is set for this year at Plainfield Country Club.
Westchester, the original home to The Barclays, has been given the Senior Players Championship this year.
Dave Catalano, director of Bethpage State Park, was not in the office Tuesday and could not be reached for comment.
PGA Tour spokesman Ty Votaw said the tour would have no comment on any discussions.
Bethpage Black is such a popular attraction that golfers are known to sleep overnight in their cars with hopes of getting a tee time. The U.S. Open was an instant hit when it first went there in 2002, attracting some 50,000 fans, many of whom watched the world’s best players compete on what local duffers regard as their public golf course.
Tiger Woods went wire-to-wire to win by three shots. The U.S. Open returned in 2009, with Lucas Glover winning a rainy tournament that took five days to complete.
Mike Davis, the senior director of rules and competition for the USGA, said he was not aware of a deal for The Barclays to go to Bethpage Black. But he said it would be at least a decade before the U.S. Open returned to the public course.
“I’ve only heard rumors about it,” Davis said about a deal with Barclays and the Black. “I do know the Bethpage people have been looking at other events they could do. It’s fair to say that at least what we have named to date (for the U.S. Open), and what we will name in the very near future, won’t be Bethpage.”
Davis said that typical of any taxpayer-owned course, Bethpage would need “appropriate funding” for the golf course to keep its condition at a reasonable level.
“There’s probably too much of a time gap between the last one (U.S. Open) and the next one,” he said.