What Happened To The Real Bethpage?

Alex CunninghamCorrespondent IJune 21, 2009

FARMINGDALE, NY - JUNE 20:  Ricky Barnes watches his tee shot on the seventh hole 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 Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Bethpage State Park's black course has a sign outside its gates reading:
"WARNING: The Black Course Is An Extremely Difficult Course Which We Recommend Only For Highly Skilled Golfers."

But from what we've seen over the last three days, it hasn't lived up to that hype.

Ricky Barnes, who has never even led at a US Open, scored -8 through two rounds, a 36 hole US Open record.  Also atop the leaderboard?  Lucas Glover, who tied the old record with -7, and Mike Weir, -6.  These three have won a combined one major (Weir's 2003 Masters victory).

Before play began, Golf Channel ranked it among the top 3 hardest US Open venues, but yet record-breaking lows are being put up here.  Relative unknowns have been scoring 63's and 64's in one round.

Even Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger fired a 81 earlier in the week.

So what happened to Bethpage Black, a course that was anticipated to have over-par winning scores?  I, personally, can't give an answer.