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The Barclays at Bethpage Black recap August 27, 2012

Posted by Mike C. in Commentary, Golf, Internet, Media, News, Personal, Photography, Sports, Travel, TV, Weather.
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For the first time in three years, Bethpage Black Golf Course in Farmingdale hosted a PGA Tour event.  This time, it was The Barclays.

The weather this year was much better than it was at the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Open Golf Championships, especially than the latter.  It was rain-free.

Earlier in the year, my dad got final round tickets for me and him.  Before we get to a recap of that, here are recaps of the first three rounds:
Round 1 recap
Round 2 recap
Round 3 recap

After Nick Watney’s third round struggles, I predicted that Sergio Garcia, the leader going into the final round would win.  I was wrong.

Unlike at the two U.S. Opens the Black hosted, cell phones were allowed, but had to be on silent or vibrate.  My phone was on vibrate as I provided live updates throughout the day on Facebook.  Here’s how that went:

11:23 AM:I’m headed to Jones Beach where a shuttle will take me and my dad (and other passengers) to Bethpage Black Golf Course at Bethpage State Park. We’ll be catching the final round of The Barclays. Golf Channel coverage runs from 12:00 to 1:30, followed by CBS from 2:00 until play concludes, which should be around 6:00.”

12:03 PM:I’m on the bus headed to Bethpage Black. I saw some license plates in the parking lot from as far away as Michigan and Tennessee. Also, New Jersey, Connecticut, [Massachusetts,] and Maryland.”

12:21 PM:Almost at Bethpage Black. I plan on following the second-to-last pairing: Kevin Stadler [son of Craig] and Brandt Snedeker [‘SNED-uh-kur’].”

1:32 PM:I ended up following Phil Mickelson and John Senden for the first two holes, then stopped at a concession stand. We’ll catch up with Stadler and Snedeker at the 3rd.”  Despite shooting a 76, the fans loved him, as I could tell from the wild cheers I heard at 17 later in his round.

I put my phone down until Stads and Sneds were halfway through.

3:32 PM: 9 holes down, 9 to go.

Then, I waited another five holes before writing another update.

4:46 PM:Crossing Round Swamp Rd. 4 holes to go.”

After the pair’s second shots at 15, Dad and I jumped ahead to the last three holes.  Then, the updates became more frequent…

5:02 PM:Skipped to 16th fairway. CBS’s [course reporter] Peter Kostis is to my right.”

5:18 PM:Up to 17th green. Live CBS feed is on video leaderboard.”

5:26 PM:Now at 18th fairway. Again, a leaderboard with CBS’s feed is straight ahead. The green is to the left.”

By this time, the drunk fans that are wont to cheer too loud, yell catchphrases out of context (i.e. “GET IN THE HOLE!” on a tee shot at a par 4 or 5), paraphrase the “Olé” song using Nick Watney’s surname (as I heard on my DVR later), and heckle players they don’t like (Sergio Garcia) got to me:

5:34 PM:It’s not fun when a reserved guy like me is next to enthusiastic and/or drunk fans.”  Sober fans acquitted themselves well, as they always do.

5:36 PM:Snedeker and Stadler are on the green. Sergio Garcia and leader Nick Watney are approaching.”

5:39 PM:Last pairing in fairway. CBS’s [other course reporter] David Feherty walked by, got cheers.”

5:44 PM:Watney’s on the green, Sergio’s in the bunker, to the delight of some fans. I feel sorry for him.”  A “USA” chant broke out as if we were at the Ryder Cup, speaking of out of context.  And there were two Spanish people standing next to us.  I felt sorry for them, too.  I finished the update by saying “[t]he crowd at the green is cheering.”

5:47 PM:Sergio bogeyed. The stage is set for Watney.”  He birdied!

5:49 PM:Put it in the books.”  That’s what Mets radio announcer Howie Rose says after a win.  “Nick Watney has won The Barclays. Final score: -10.”

5:52 PM:Feherty interviewed Watney for CBS [briefly interrupted by Nick embracing his wife], then off to sign the scorecard and back to 18 for the trophy presentation.”

5:53 PM:Leaderboard reads ‘Congratulations Nick Watney, 2012 Champion’ with a headshot of him.”

5:58 PM:CBS’s Ian Baker-Finch is [hosting] the presentation.”

5:59 PM:The champion is back.”

6:06 PM:After getting the trophy, Finchy [one of Ian’s nicknames] interviewed him. He ‘couldn’t be happier,’ ‘overjoyed.’ He thanked volunteers, fans, and wife. After the interview, he hoisted the trophy.”  His cousin Heidi, of the soon-to-launch Time Warner Cable SportsNet in Los Angeles, was also there.

With The Barclays complete, it was time to go home.

6:07 PM:Now, we’re walking to the shuttle bound for Jones Beach.”

6:24 PM:The shuttle is departing…”

6:48 PM:Walking to the car at Jones Beach. Next stop: home.”

7:19 PM:I got home about ten minutes ago. Phew.”

I ate a hearty meal of pasta and watched some of my DVR of CBS’s coverage, but not before taking two pictures.

This is how I looked as I walked the course:

My ticket stub, pins, and two copies of both the spectator guide and final round pairings:

Here are the post-round links:

PGATour.com:
Round 4 recap
Nick Watney press conference
Daily Wrap-up
Results
PGA Tour Replay podcast

Newsday (subscription needed)

New York Daily News

Golf Channel:
Doug Ferguson: Watney wins Barclays; Garcia 4 back
Jason Sobel: Watney becoming more comfortable in spotlight
Barclays photo gallery
Rex Hoggard: Watney’s psychologist credited for Barclays win

The day after, I returned to Bethpage by bus and by foot, taking these pictures along the way:

Welcome sign at Farmingdale LIRR station:

This sign was up approaching Round Swamp Road while walking west on Bethpage Road:

The next three pictures were taken from Round Swamp Road:

This sign was at the main entrance on Quaker Meeting House Road:

After the above picture, I made my way back to Quake Meeting House Road.  The inside of the park was closed until three days later.

This was the last relevant shot of the day before heading home:

The Barclays returns to Bethpage Black in 2016, part of a four-year rotation with other New York area courses.  I hope the weather is as great as it was this year.  Congratulations again to Nick Watney, your 2012 Barclays Champion.  Best of luck in the final three FedExCup Playoff events.

NOTE: I decided to write entirely in the past tense rather than the present except for “yesterday” referring to when the final round was played.  I did this despite “the day after” being today and “three days later” being Thursday, among other examples.

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