124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

The Loop

No Rest For The Weary At Bethpage

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. -- Craig Currier would have to wait for a day off. There was no rest for the weary at Bethpage State Park Tuesday when it came to the course superintendent and his staff who dealt with the rain and suspensions and got the Black course in shape for the U.S. Open under trying circumstances.

"Not any time soon," Currier said of the prospects of some down time. "We've got a lot of work to do to get everything cleaned up. We've got the state open coming up in a couple of weeks. We've got to get ready for that."

Despite soft conditions that made the layout much differently from what Currier or the USGA wanted, he was happy with how it stood up. "We're proud of the course and think it's one of the best in the world," Currier said. Under normal conditions, I don't think anyone would have broken par. If we could have gotten the place firm and fast, the way it should play, it would have played entirely different." Even so, the winning score was only four under.

The course, particular spectator areas, took a beating,. "A lot of the stuff out side the ropes looks worse than it is," Currier said, while conceding that "realistically it's going to be fall until everything's put back the way it should be."

The poa annua greens, which were repeatedly squeegeed and rolled, will be aerated prior to the Black's planned reopening June 29, according to Currier. "They're a lake one minute and we're rolling them the next," he said. "We beat 'em up pretty good."

As for how the tough hand was dealt with, Currier said, "I don't think there was anything more we could do. I think it's rained about 30 of the last 45 days. If it was a dry golf course and we had those rains [during the Open], it wouldn't be a big deal. There was just no where for the water to go. It's an outdoor game; you can't fight Mother Nature."

*-- Bill Fields *