The Barclays, the first event in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup Playoffs, will begin on Thursday, August 23 and run through Sunday, August 26, at Bethpage Black, the Tour announced today.


           It has been known for quite some time that the Black Course will be in the rotation for The Barclays, along with Liberty National, Plainfield Country Club and Ridgewood Country Club, all New Jersey courses. The Tour officially released the date today, along with the rest of its 2012 schedule.


            After an uneven start, the FedEx Cup has gained momentum and generated more interest. This year, it was won by Bill Haas, who earned the $10 million first prize by capturing the finale, the Tour Championship.


            Tour officials have been intrigued by the Black after the course hosted two U.S. Opens in 2002 and 2009, won by Tiger Woods and Lucas Glover, respectively.


             PGA champion Keegan Bradley, who played the Black weekly when he was at St. John's, recently called the Black, "My favorite course that I've ever played." He added that when he saw the announcement that the Barclays would be going there, "I was freaking out, like, `I can't wait.' "


            Tour pros and local golfers have said they will be interested to see how the Black plays later in the year, when it will presumedly be drier than it was during two rain-soaked Opens. The Tour, which doesn't mind having fans see top pros make birdies, likely will set the Black up to be less punitive than an Open course normally is. It probably will play firmer and faster, without much deep rough.

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