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U.S. Open Notebook: USGA says it is weathering economic storm

Associated Press
The U.S. Open notebook …
FARMINGDALE ó Officials at the U.S. Open on Long Island say that despite the economic downturn the tournament is sold out.
Pete Bevacqua, chief business officer for the United States Golf Association, says 42,500 fans are expected daily at the tournament, which gets under way today.
WET COURSE
It’s almost impossible to find a golfer who doesn’t use the words difficult or long in describing Bethpage Black.
It is impossible to find anyone connected with the U.S. Open who doesn’t want to keep the rain away.
With a recent rain history approaching biblical proportions, and a forecast that has umbrella salespeople smiling, the 7,426-yard, par-70 public course that is hosting the Open for a second time this decade is throwing a wet blanket over the chances of a lot of golfers.
“When I practiced yesterday, (it was) the first time that I saw one of the more difficult golf courses in my life, probably because of the rain,” Eduardo Romero said Wednesday.
Come on, how much rain does it take to bother the world’s best golfers?
“It’s a big golf course. It’s a wide golf course. Right now it’s extremely soft. Obviously the rain, the weather has not been our friend. It’s rained in this area something like 30 of the last 45 days,” Jim Hyler, chairman of the USGA’s championship committee, said, referring to Long Island. “So we have an extremely wet golf course out there. Bethpage would play long in any condition. But particularly with the softness, it will play longer.”

NOTES: The USGA made it official Wednesday by announcing that Oakmont, reputed to be the toughest golf course in America, will host the U.S. Open in 2016. It will be a record ninth-time for Oakmont to host the U.S. Open, and the first time since 1962 that it only had to wait nine years for another one. … The USGA Museum and Arnold Palmer Center for Golf History has launched the “Tiger Woods Championship Scrapbook,” an online exhibit that shows each of Woods’ nine USGA titles ó three each at the U.S. Open, U.S. Amateur and U.S. Junior Amateur.

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