Merchandise event at Bethpage as preliminary to PGA Championship

Grounds crews work at the U.S. Open Golf Grounds crews work at the U.S. Open Golf Championship at Bethpage State Park's Black Course in Farmingdale, N.Y. Photo Credit: AP, 2009

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PINEHURST, N.C. - Consider it a warm-up, five years before Bethpage's next major, the 2019 PGA Championship. The park will host a big-time merchandise event Tuesday conducted by TaylorMade. Bethpage head pro Joe Rehor is calling it an "extravaganza," with equipment demonstrations, the unveiling of a new product and a special guest.

Hint: Don't be shocked if the guest is a prominent tour pro coming off the U.S. Open. Rehor said it is free and that everyone is invited, whether they are playing one of the five courses that day.

Sebonack in the mix

There was a group here as well from Shinnecock Hills, in preparation for the 2018 U.S. Open. "Everything is great there. Bill and Ben are actually working there," Davis said, referring to Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, the architects who renovated Pinehurst No. 2. "They're really trying to do a lot of things that this place has done, restoring it."

Coore and Crenshaw are not doing anything as dramatic and ambitious as they did here, having removed all of the heavy rough. The Shinnecock work is more subtle, yet still tradition-based. "We've been involved more or less just on some of the new tees and things like that," Davis said.

Park helps U.S. win

Annie Park of Levittown went 3-1 to help the United States to a resounding 13-7 win over Great Britain and Ireland last weekend in the Curtis Cup, the women's version of the Walker Cup. Afterward, she tweeted to her teammates, "This was one of my best moments in life and I'm glad I got to spend it with you all." This week, she will play for her country again at the World University Games in Switzerland.

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Fact of the week

Matt Dobyns, who missed making the cut by the width of the ball that missed the cup on his final hole Friday, wasn't the first pro that Fresh Meadow Country Club sent to the U.S. Open. Gene Sarazen won the 1932 Open, which was held at Fresh Meadow. By then, though, he was the former club pro, having resigned out of fear of a home course jinx. The club has since moved from that Great Neck location, which is now the site of Fresh Meadow Cinema on Long Island Expressway.

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