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Monday, May 4, 2009

Bethpage Black getting longer

Bethpage Black on Long Island will be 212 yards longer for the U.S. Open in June than it was in 2002 when Tiger Woods triumphed by three shots over Phil Mickelson.

But the fairways will be a little wider and the rough won't be as thick - at least for the first 20 feet off the fairway. The USGA will continue to enforce the gradual rough theory where the further golfers drive off-line, the more rough, they will encounter.

Also, there are five new tees (Nos. 3, 5, 7, 9 and 13. The long carry at No. 10, which many of the pros complained about in 2002, has been shortened with the fairway having been brought closer to the tee.

The seventh hole has been increased by 36 yards to 525, making it the longest par-4 in Open history. Three par-4s at Bethpage are over 500 yards.

Lastly, tickets for the U.S. Open will be available at Bethpage beginning June 11 at 10 a.m. on a first-come, first-serve basis. Keep checking back here and in the Register in the coming weeks to see the hours and prices for tickets to the 2009 Open.

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