A flag on the Black Course of Bethpage State Park's...

A flag on the Black Course of Bethpage State Park's Golf Course. Credit: Newsday/Audrey C. Tiernan

Bethpage Black might be in line to host The Barclays, which is the opening FedEx Cup playoff event on the PGA Tour, in 2012. Citing a source with knowledge of the tournament's plans, The Associated Press reported yesterday that Barclays and the PGA Tour are negotiating the deal, which requires approval by the New York State Parks and Recreation Department.

The Black was the site of the enormously successful 2002 U.S. Open and the rain-drenched 2009 U.S. Open, but the magnificent public course is not currently in the USGA's plans for a future Open. The Barclays has rotated in the metropolitan area since the FedEx Cup began in 2007, moving from Westchester Country Club to Liberty National to Ridgewood Country Club in North Jersey. It's scheduled for Plainfield Country Club in New Jersey in September.

Dave Catalano, director of Bethpage State Park, was contacted by Newsday but said, "I have no information about that."

Laura Hill, senior director with PGA Tour communications, replied in an e-mail to Newsday: "The Tour has no comment on this."

When the USGA declined to commit another U.S. Open to Bethpage shortly after the 2009 event, state officials began exploring the possibility of hosting other events. The course has been suggested for a PGA Championship or a Ryder Cup, but nothing has materialized.

Given the USGA's success at a public venue, the PGA Tour's only New York-area event might well make a greater impact at Bethpage Black. The question would be whether Barclays and the PGA Tour would invest funds to insure top-quality course maintenance as the USGA did in the past.

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