US Open at Bethpage Black 2009 Kicks Off
The US Open is back at Bethpage Black on Long Island, New York once again. Bethpage Black is only the third public course to have the honor of hosting the US Open tournament. 2002 was the first time Bethpage Black hosted the US Open and it provided a very tough course, an even tougher New York crowd and amazing golf.
This year looks to deliver another fantastic US Open tournament, plus the threat of some serious rain. Oakley head-to-toe PGA Rookie had this to say about the looming weather, “It’s supposed to be rainy, which with this rough will be extremely tough, but hopefully the rain holds, if not I will be playing in my Oakley wet weather gear quite a bit.”
The field this year is stacked with contracted Oakley PGA players and even more eyewear players. Long time Oakley player Ricky Barnes was on the practice range yesterday and shared with us how he felt about being back at Bethpage Black.
“Yeah playing in a major is always special,” said Barnes. “I am fortunate enough that this is my fifth US Open and each year it’s special… but I think patience will be key here this week. Players must manage their game, and par will be a good score. And I have been working hard just looking for everything to click in one week, I figure if I can make it all click at once I can compete on Sunday.”
Nitties in his first year on the PGA Tour was amped to be at Bethpage. “It’s a dream come true,” said Nitties. “As a kid watching TV you always want to be there one day and you always hold that last putt on the putting green imagining you are at the US Open. Now I made it in my rookie year and it’s just more then expected. And it’s that much more special being at Bethpage, so I will always remember this year.”
Also in the field are contracted eyewear players Ian Poulter and this year’s Players Champion Henrik Stenson. Poulter looked strong on the practice range and with Bethpage Black playing to his style; look for Ian to make a solid run by Sunday. Additionally, Stenson who has been wearing Oakley eyewear for ten years now, recently signed a contract with the brand and is sporting a fresh pair of custom green Radar sunglasses to match his Hugo Boss outfit. Henrik’s year has been extremely strong and having won the Players just a month ago, look for Stenson to put a charge into the field this weekend.
When we asked Nitties how his relationship with Oakley was coming along in his first year with the brand, James smiled and stated, “It’s an edgy brand that attracts a lot of eye balls. Oakley is leading the eyewear game in our industry by so far it’s ridiculous. I mean even if I were not on Oakley I would still wear them, that’s just how good the sunnies are. But I am very fortunate to be on Oakley and with them I am able to put a bit of a young man’s twist into an old man’s game with their fantastic apparel and footwear.”
Ricky Barnes, who has been on Oakley for over seven years, echoed similar comments.
“I love it, it’s different,” said Ricky. “It’s great to see the brand grow, you know, not many people knew about it in the beginning, but now you see more guys wearing the shoes. And the materials, the shirts and obviously the eyewear, which Oakley is known for, are really gaining notoriety. For me, pretty much starting with them in the beginning of Oakley’s golf apparel launch in 2002, obviously it’s awesome to see it all unfold. I wouldn’t trade it for the world and I want to be an O guy for life.”
Look for James Nitties, Ricky Barnes, Henrik Stenson and Ian Poulter to make a great showing at Bethpage Black starting today, as well as the 30 other players wearing Oakley eyewear.