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Jim Souhan

Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene

Souhan: Much to love about the PGA's Bethpage Black course

Farmingdale, NY

I've been at Bethpage Black since Wednesday morning and I love the place.

I love that it's a public course that is part of a five-course complex.

I love the layout, the trees, the massive bunkers and the sweeping fairways.

I love that it's tough enough to challenge the best golfers in the world.

I'm often tough on the USGA but they deserve credit for bringing the U.S. Open here.

As of late-morning Eastern time, Brooks Koepka leads the field by a stroke and Tiger woods needed birdies on 1 and 2 (his 10th and 11th holes of the day) to get back to one-over.

An updated leaderboard is here.

The course is long and tough but the greens are relatively simple, so the players who can get to the green are often going to have realistic birdie putts.

Wrote about Eden Prairie native and Stillwater High alum Alex Beach in today's paper. I'll be following him this afternoon.


Check out my podcasts at TalkNorth.com


Souhan: Shuffling patrons early on Sunday at the Masters

Augusta, Ga.

I arrived at Augusta National at about 6 a.m. on Sunday and wandered down to the driving range. There, I saw Bryson DeChambeau working on his putting with a coach and an alignment aid.

I headed back to the press center and saw something unusual. The gates had just opened, at 7 a.m. Eastern time, and a row of white shirts were marching toward me, taking up the entire width of the paved walkway. A security guard saw me coming and said, ``You don’t want to go that way.’’

The white-shirted security guards were slow-walking, trying to keep the first wave of fans - ``patrons’’ in Masters lingo - from rushing onto the course to claim the best places on the course.

There is no running at Augusta National, and this rule was being physically enforced.

The mass of humanity behind the white shirts would have been frightening in another setting. But this is The Masters, and ``patrons’’ know they must behave or a lush, green, trap door will open beneath them and they will never be seen again.


Rounds are starting at 7:30 Eastern, with the leaders going off at 9:20 Eastern. The Masters is trying to beat a weather front that was expected to arrive around 3 p.m.

By Sunday morning, the forecasts indicated that the front is now going to arrive around 2 p.m. (all times Eastern.)

If the leaders take five hours to play, they will be finishing as the weather is worsening. The Masters desperately wants to finish on Sunday, so it will be interesting to see how bad the weather has to get for the bosses here to suspend play.


Tiger Woods has never come from behind to win a major. He’ll try to do so today.

One side note: He did come from behind on a Sunday to win a major - in his last victory at The Masters. Because of weather delays in 2005, Tiger started Sunday out of the lead but, with the remaining holes of the third round, had taken the lead by the time the final round began.


Francesco Molinari has made one bogey in this tournament.

Noone has ever made fewer than five bogeys while winning The Masters. Francesco Molinari has made one bogey this week.


You can find my podcasts at TalkNorth.com