"It's a combination British Open and U.S. Open," said John Stoltz of Concord CC, one of only two golfers to have broken par in the morning wave of the first round of the Met Open at Bethpage Black.

          To shoot 2 under 69,as Daniel Balin of Burning Tree did, was almost unimaginable. It is really windy, it was rainy when the morning groups teed off and it's still the Black that was made famous by the Open.

           Balin is just back from Whistling Straits, where he played in the PGA Championship. So did Rob Labritz of Glen Arbor, who was low club pro at the PGA and shot 74 today.

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            Tarik Can of Manhasset, who shot 65 on the Black at the New York State Open, started strongly. He shot par 71. Can is feeling better about his game and is trying to scrape up funds to support him as he tries Q School for his PGA Tour card this year.

            Evan Bierne of Connecticut, a St. John's player, also shot 71.