Barclays Returns to Liberty National in ’13 (Meh), Bethpage Added to Rotation (Yay)
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Bethpage Black hosted the US Open in 2002 and 2009

The PGA Tour announced on Wednesday that Barclays has signed a four-year extension as title sponsor of The Barclays, the first leg in the Tour’s “playoffs” for the FedEx Cup. Here’s the course rotation via the press release:

  • 2012 – Bethpage State Park’s Black Course, Farmingdale, N.Y.
  • 2013 – Liberty National, Jersey City, N.J.
  • 2014 – Ridgewood Country Club, Paramus, N.J.
  • 2015 – Plainfield Country Club, Edison, N.J.
  • 2016 – Bethpage State Park’s Black Course, Farmingdale, N.Y.

Remember how much the players enjoyed Liberty National in ’09? I think there were more reports about the complaining than the playing! Tiger Woods called the course “interesting” and “different.” He “joked” to his pro-am partner, “Maybe Tom (Kite) did this course before his eye operation,” according to NorthJersey.com.

Course designers Tom Kite and Bob Cupp revamped some things in the last two years.

“If you did before and after photos you probably couldn’t see any difference,” Cupp told Bloomberg. “This is about quality golf shots, including putts, and gallery space. Those are the two challenges that we had.”

“I think that over my years here, there have been very few times where we’ve played a golf course for the first time that we don’t get a lot of input on what it ought be, particularly when you play a new course,” said PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem during his presser at AT&T National. “Liberty was obviously brand new when we played it. We got a lot of suggestions.”

Those I’ve spoken to, who have played Liberty National recently, said you couldn’t really tell a significant difference. I guess we’ll see in August, won’t we? Oh, and why on earth do they keep going back?

“We wanted to get to back to Liberty,” Finchem said. “I think it’s one of the most stunning settings for professional golf there is on the planet, and we want to take advantage of that. And we’re delighted that the club assisted us with making some positive changes.”

And Barclays president Bob Diamond is a member there…

Onward! The best part of the announcement is obviously that Bethpage Black has been added to the rotation (though unfortunately, this means the first date the US Open could return is 2020).

“We’re excited about that rotation,” said Finchem. “Obviously, playing at Bethpage Black is in and of itself special. But also the concept over the last years was to try to move The Barclays around the metropolitan area … and a rotation that moves us over from New Jersey to Long Island for these next few years will work nicely.”

Lucas Glover, who won the ’09 US Open at Bethpage, thinks it will be a great test and an excellent tour stop.

“Other than the Masters, you don’t get that opportunity the next year,” Glover told PGATour.com. “So it will be cool to go back there. I had heard through the grapevine that it was gong to be in the rotation so I am looking forward to it.”

(AP Photo)