Bethpage Black-Skies! What's to Come?

Brian Gulish@@briengeeContributor IJune 20, 2009

FARMINGDALE, NY - JUNE 20:  Tiger Woods walks off the first tee during the continuation of the second round of the 109th U.S. Open on the Black Course at Bethpage State Park on June 20, 2009 in Farmingdale, New York.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Three days, two rounds, one theme—RAIN!

This is the reason there has never been a U.S. Open contested in Seattle.

Ricky Barnes leads the U.S. Open at 8-under par.  Only six times in the last 108 Opens has the winning score after all four rounds been 8-under. 

So is Ricky playing that well, or has the course, as the entire tournament, submitted to mother nature? 

I prefer the latter.

That may be a driver to the knee-cap of the U.S. Open 36-hole record holder, but it is on tee with the truth.

What should have been an amazing test of skill, has turned in to a tournament of endurance, luck and patience.

Those who had morning tee times for Thursday's first round drew the short end of the stick.  Those who had afternoon tee times hit the proverbial hole-in-one!

As it stands right now, Barnes is atop the leaderboard followed by Lucas Glover (-7) and Mike Weir (-6).  From there, you see a fourth place number that many thought would win the tournament this week, that being three under par.

Presuming scoring conditions remain the same, greens being soft and slow, look for double digits under par to win the championship. 

However, if the sun comes out, the rain stops and wind picks up, those who are living a dream right now will be awakening from a nightmare come Monday or Tuesday or, whenever the weather allows the tournament to end.

I'd like to see the tougher conditions.  The conditions that test the best.  Ask even the most studied golf historians if they prefer a challenge for the players, their answer is almost sure to be yes.

It may sounds as if I am bashing Barnes and Glover, but the only true contender atop the leaderboard is Mike Weir. 

If and when the sun comes back to Farmingdale, these unrealistic scores will evaporate fast than any of the moisture on the course that is Bethpage Black.

When that happens, -8 will soon be -5, which I expect to be the winning score.

And what does that mean for the rest of the field?  That means Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Retief Goosen and even Tiger Woods are still in contention.

So what's to come.  Well, we are almost guaranteed more rain tonight and in to the day tomorrow.  We are all but guaranteed a Monday finish at the earliest, and that doesn't include an 18-hole playoff on Tuesday. 

I am not writing off the 36-hole leader, but I have my money on one of five men.  Weir, Mickelson, Goosen, Garcia and Woods.  All major winners except Sergio.  If any non-major winner pulls out their first at Bethpage Black, it won't be Barnes, but Garica.