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Bethpage clubhouse spruced up for Open

Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and the rest of the U.S. Open field will have a plusher environment to take their meals in than they did during their last trip to Bethpage in 2002.

The Oak Room at Carlyle on the Green will be the feeding spot for the players, their families and assorted VIPs for the week. In preparation, the walls, ceilings, floors, lighting and drapery were redone throughout the state park's clubhouse - not just in the restaurant.

"We spent about a $1 million to get it up to the level it is today," said Steven Carl, the COO of Carlyle on the Green, who added that all the renovations were done in the last six months.

If the competitors want privacy, they can move across the hall from the Oak Room to the Tillinghast Room, which is players-only.

Carl also noted the outdoor patio to the right side of the Heritage Room, which overlooks the first tee box, was created to give corporate sponsors and state officials a place to "watch the U.S. Open from a different view."

Wednesday, workers were touching up the paint job through the clubhouse corridors. While in the restaurant, chef Phil Abshire and his crew were busy prepping for the 60,000-65,000 meals that will be served next week - including a few for the defending U.S. Open champ and 2002 winner at Bethpage.

Said Carl: "Tiger doesn't eat a lot. What I remember from 2002 is that his diet is very basic."

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