Tiger takes detour to Bethpage

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Tiger Woods didn’t head straight home to Florida after his fourth victory in the Memorial Tournament in Ohio at the weekend.

Tiger Woods didn’t head straight home to Florida after his fourth victory in the Memorial Tournament in Ohio at the weekend.

He took a detour instead to New York’s Bethpage State Park to play 18 holes with his swing guru Hank Haney on the Park’s Black course which is to host the US Open in less than a fortnight.

Newsday reported on Monday that several dozen golfers who were getting ready to play on one of the four other courses at Bethpage noticed Woods and immediately pulled out cell-phone cameras to record the event.

It is reported that the world number one was to fly home on Monday evening and would mostly use his home course at Isleworth to hone his game for the defence of his US Open title.

Woods won last year’s US Open at Torrey Pines, a Municipal Course like Bethpage Black, but had to fight for his victory in a 19-hole playoff against Rocco Mediate.

He won the US Open title at Bethpage Black in 2002 when it was last played there.

On that occasion he was the only player to finish under par.

Since then the Black Course has been lengthened to 7,426 yards but its rough will not be as penalizing as it was in 2002 for it will feature graduated rough that should allow players not too far off the fairway to reach the green in regulation instead of having no option but to hack the ball onto the fairway and take it from there.

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