Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bethpage Black Gets PGA Tour Event

The Barclays, the first stop of the PGA Tour's four-tournament FedEx Cup, is scheduled to rotate venues starting in 2012 with Bethpage State Park's Black Course, the site of the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Open. The tournament is slated to return there in 2016. Other venues are: Liberty National, 2013; Ridgewood Country Club, 2014; and Plainfield Country Club, 2015.

The following descriptions of the courses are from the PGA Tour press release.

Bethpage Black

In the early 1930s, the Bethpage Park Authority purchased the Lenox Hills Country Club and other adjacent properties to build what we now know as Bethpage State Park. 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.

Tiger Woods won the 2002 U.S. Open by being the only player to break par in a tournament that was remembered for excitement on the course and atmosphere outside the ropes. Prior to 2002, the U.S. Open had only been contested at privately owned courses. Lucas Glover won the 2009 U.S. Open in a rain-soaked event.

Liberty National - 2013

In 2013, The Barclays will return to Liberty National in Jersey City, N.J., site of the 2009 event, won by Heath Slocum. The vision of owner Paul Fireman, Liberty National features unparalleled views of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty, which is located less than 1,000 yards from the 14th green. TOUR players will find a new Liberty National that has undergone significant redesign by original course architects Tom Kite and Bob Cupp, including revamped greens and changes to multiple green surrounds and fairways.

“We’re thrilled to have The Barclays and FedExCup return to Liberty National after such a memorable tournament in 2009,” said Fireman, founder of Liberty National Golf Club. “We recently completed changes to the course and gallery areas with collaboration from PGA TOUR Chief Architect Steve Wenzloff and our original design team of Tom Kite and Bob Cupp. We believe the new look Liberty National will be well received by the playing professionals and provide an even better experience for players and fans.”

Ridgewood Country Club - 2014

The Barclays will return to another recent host in 2014, Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, N.J. Ridgewood has hosted The Barclays twice: in 2008 when Vijay Singh won the title – and eventually the FedExCup – by defeating Kevin Sutherland and Sergio Garcia in a sudden-death playoff; and last year, when Matt Kuchar, also in a sudden-death playoff, hit his approach shot from the left rough to less than three feet from the hole to beat Martin Laird with a birdie. Ridgewood was founded in 1890 and is one of the oldest clubs in America. In addition to two installments of The Barclays, the course – another A.W. Tillinghast design – has hosted the 1935 Ryder Cup, 1974 U.S. Amateur, 1990 U.S. Senior Open and 2001 Senior PGA Championship.

Plainfield Country Club - 2015

This year’s site, Plainfield Country Club in Edison, N.J., is slated to host The Barclays again in 2015. Like Ridgewood, Plainfield Country Club was founded in 1890 and stands as one of the oldest clubs in the United States. The course was built in 1921 by Donald Ross and is widely regarded as one of his masterpieces. The club recently spent more than a decade restoring, renovating and extending the course, using Ross’s original blueprints. Plainfield has hosted the 1978 U.S. Amateur and the 1987 U.S. Women’s Open.

In addition to hosting The Barclays, Plainfield Country Club has made a major commitment to educating children in its local community by starting a First Tee program two years ago. Plainfield is the first private club to partner with The First Tee and commit to being a full-time First Tee facility. Plainfield’s West 9 golf course hosts The First Tee programs as part of The First Tee of Metropolitan NY.

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