|U.S. Open - June 15, 2009
Bethpage State Park (Black Course)
Par: 35-35—70Yards: 7,214
Winner's FedExCup Points Share: 600
Purse: $7,500,000*Winner: $1,350,000*
2008 Champion: Tiger Woods (283, -1)
Woods Goes for Second Straight U.S. Open, Second Consecutive at Bethpage
Tiger Woods returns to the scene of his second U.S. Open title when he tees it up this week at Bethpage State Park Golf Course’s Black Course. Woods won the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage, and a year ago he won his third U.S. Open crown when he took a 19-hole playoff victory from Rocco Mediate at Torrey Pines Golf Course’s South Course. This is the second consecutive year that the U.S. Open has been held at a public-golf facility.
In his last PGA TOUR start, Woods won the Memorial Tournament, giving him two titles in 2009, less than a year after undergoing knee surgery that caused him to miss the remainder of the 2008 season following his U.S. Open win.
Woods’ playoff win over Mediate a year ago was the U.S. Open’s first since Retief Goosen defeated Mark Brooks in 2001 at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, OK. Those two playoffs are the only extra sessions in the last 17 tournaments. There have been 33 playoffs overall.
U.S. Open Notes
Tiger Woods won the second of his three U.S. Open titles when he was victorious at Bethpage State Park’s Black Course in 2002. It was the only other time the course has hosted the U.S. Open. At 3-under 277, Woods was the only player in the field to finish with an under-par score, topping Phil Mickelson by three strokes.
The par-70 Bethpage Black played as the toughest course on the PGA TOUR in 2002, yielding a 74.901 scoring average.
Defending champion Tiger Woods is tied for fourth all-time with three U.S. Open victories. He won in 2000, 2002 and 2008. The list of players with three or more wins includes four players with four titles and two with three wins. Those with four are Willie Anderson (1901, 1903-05), Bobby Jones (1923, 1926, 1929-30), Ben Hogan (1948, 1950-1951, 1953) and Jack Nicklaus (1962, 1967, 1972, 1980). Besides Woods, the other player to only win this tournament three times is Hale Irwin, who captured the 1974, 1979 and 1990 tournaments.
Rocco Mediate, who fell in a 19-hole playoff at the 2008 U.S. Open to Tiger Woods, will be making his 14th career start at a U.S. Open. He has made the cut nine times, with three top-10 finishes. Last year’s runner-up showing was his best performance. He also tied for sixth in 2005 and was fourth in 2001.
Six international players finished inside the top 10 a year ago at the U.S. Open. At Torrey Pines Golf Course’s South Course, England’s Lee Westwood had the top international performance, finishing third. Sweden’s Robert Karlsson tied for fourth, while Karlsson’s fellow countryman, Carl Pettersson, and Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez tied for sixth. Geoff Ogilvy of Australia and Camilo Villegas of Colombia tied for ninth. Of that group, only Karlsson, out with an injury, is not playing this week.
D.J. Trahan returns to the U.S. Open for his third career appearance, coming a year after he turned in his best performance in a major championship. Trahan tied for fourth a year ago, finishing three strokes out of the Tiger Woods-Rocco Mediate playoff. After missing the cut in his first four major championships (2001 and 2008 Masters, 2006 U.S. Open and 2007 PGA Championship), Trahan has made three consecutive major-championship cuts. Following his performance at Torrey Pines a year ago, he tied for 31st at the PGA Championship and tied for 44th at this year’s Masters Tournament.
The low round of the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage State Park was a 4-under 66 by Nick Faldo in the third round. He tied for fifth that year. Six players shot a 67 in the tournament. They were Robert Allenby (tied for 12th), Sergio Garcia (fourth), Shigeki Maruyama (tied for 16th), Phil Mickelson (second), Vijay Singh (tied for 30th) and eventual champion Tiger Woods.