This week sees the PGA Tour split and the start of the FedEx Cup play-offs. First up is The Barclays being played over the famous public track in New York and home of the 2002 and 2009 US Open Championship, Bethpage Black.
Bethpage was the first publicly owned and operated course to stage a US Open Championship and the media hype before the Open suggested that Bethpage Black was far too easy and there would be record scoring. It turned out that the press got it totally wrong and the players unanimously agreed that the Black was a one of the finest courses in the world and a supreme test of golf.
Only one player bettered par in the 2002 tournament and only five players broke par when the US Open Championship returned to Bethpage in 2009, when Lucas Glover took the title.
Bethpage State Park was developed from an estate owned by the Yoakum family and leased their estate to the Lenox Hills Corporation who used the property to build the Lenox Hills Country Club.
In the early 1930s, the Bethpage Park Authority purchased the Lenox Hills Country Club and other adjacent properties to build what is now know as Bethpage State Park.
Famed golf course architect A.W. Tillinghast was hired to design and oversee construction of three new golf courses (Black, Red and Blue) as well as modify the Lenox Hills Course which became the Green Course.
Bethpage Black opened in 1936 where Joseph H. Burbeck, a superintendent at the State Park, was the driving force and the project manager who led the construction of the Black. Narrow fairways, thick rough, plateaux greens and huge sculptured bunkers are what the players will face here this week. A.W Tillinghast used to refer to this track as the Black Leopard and stated, “You’ll need to be on top of your game to score well on the Black Leopard”
In 1958, due to the increased demand for golf, the Yellow Course designed by Alfred Tull was opened. 300,000 rounds are played annually on the five courses at Bethpage, all of which start from the Clubhouse.
My tips to Win:
It looks like the bookies think this week is going to be a straight shoot-out between Tiger Woods 7/1 and Rory McIlroy 7/1 which doesn’t really represent great odds. One player that is on form is Justin Rose 20/1 and these are good odds for the lad from Johannesburg, who has had two Top 5 finishes in his last two events.
I have tipped Louis Oosthuizen 33/1 a few times this season, one being at the Masters where we had him at 65/1. Another South African who I feel will do well here this week. Louis comes into this week off the back of three straight Top 25 finishes, including his forth place at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational.
Ian Poulter 45/1 now sits just outside of tenth place in the world Ryder Cup ranking points and wont want to rely on a captain’s pick after seeing what happened to his good friend Justin Rose in 2010. He is in great form coming into this tournament off the back of a third place finish in the PGA Championship.
My each-way tips:
These are great odds for Tim Clark 50/1 another South African who has made the Top 15 in his last three events and four other Top 25 finishes this season. He is in great form after his second place last weekend.
Last year’s play-off winner Bill Haas 50/1 comes into this week in fine form after his tied seventh place finish at the Wyndham Championship. He also has two other Top 20 finishes in his last four events. It looks like the lad from North Carolina knows when to peak.
My Outside tip:
I am not going to put this guide up before I have a bet on Troy Matteson at 175/1 – these are great odds for the lad from Rockledge Florida. Another Top 10 finish last week at the Wyndham Championship makes three Top 10 finishes in his last five events, which includes his second place finish at the John Deere Classic. Troy started the season with five missed cuts and has thrown in another seven along the way but when he gets it going and at these odd…
For updated betting odds during the tournament go to planetgolfreview.com