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Tiger Woods Returns to Bethpage

Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy paired together as golf world turns its attention this week to The Barclays Tournament at Bethpage State Park.

As Rory McIlroy addressed the media Wednesday, the tone changed in a heartbeat. A murmur reverberated through the audience. Tiger Woods had just walked in off the 18th hole at Bethpage Black. 

Woods stood at the back of the room, listening intently as a reporter asked the 23-year-old McIlroy – the youngest player to win the U.S. Open since Bobby Jones in 1923 – who is the best player in the world.

“Sure, I feel like I’m the best and Tiger feels like he’s the best,” said McIlroy, eyeing Woods in the back of the room. “It’s really a hard one for me to come up here and say. Tiger has been the best player in the world for the last 15 years. Just that people are mentioning my name with the likes of him is a huge compliment.”

McIlory is the top-ranked golfer in the world. Woods, 36, has won 14 majors and 74 PGA events, including three this year. They will get a chance to measure one another up close this week, paired together in the first two rounds of The Barclays Tournament

The First Round begins Thursday at 7:10 a.m. at Bethpage State Park. The PGA Tour stop is the first leg of the FedEx Cup, a four-tournament playoff with a $10 million payoff going to the points champion.

Woods has won at Bethpage Black before, taking the 2002 U.S. Open. As he worked his way through the course for Wednesday’s Pro-AM, it became clear Woods still generates more excitement than anyone in the field.

“I was always the youngest when I played against Vijay [Singh], Phil [Mickelson], Ernie [Els] and Goose [Retief Goosen],” Woods said. “We went at it for just over a decade. I was always the youngest one out of that group. Rory is considerably younger than I am, but this is another generation.”  

Will Woods’ experience at Bethpage translate into a strong performance? It’s a stacked field and a new generation is fighting for recognition. It begins with McIlory. 

The Barclays Tournament

Top 10: Players to Watch

Bethpage Black: Three Holes to Watch

First Round: Golfer pairings Thursday

Schedule: TV / Radio

Getting In: Tickets

Getting There: Parking l Road Closures l LIRR

Follow The Barclays from our Bethpage Black topics page

Jason Molinet August 22, 2012 at 10:34 PM
See more photos of Tiger Woods in action today, including a bunker shot http://patch.com/A-xhxF
Vincent August 23, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Mr. Molinet: Do you have any photo's of him throwing clubs on the course? Why does the press shove this guy down our throats?
Jason Molinet August 23, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Not yet. But it's a four-day tournament.
paul August 23, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Look out I just heard that "Elin Maria Pernilla Nordegren" is in town. All FORE of them... Golf joke, get it???? ;o)
Vincent August 23, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Mr. Molinet: That it is. Hope you can link up to a video with sound, ala youtube so we can hear the curse words.
Dorothy A Whalen August 23, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Tiger is and has been a Champion in Golf, and he brings interest and publicity to all the games he attends. Do not judge him, he is as human as you are, and he still is an excellent golfer!
Anthony August 23, 2012 at 05:53 PM
How about you turn off the TV or don't click on the link to articles that contain Tiger Woods in them? Is that too hard of a concept Vinny?
Mike August 23, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Finally someone understands. Vincent should shut his mouth.
paul August 23, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Why are you folks picking on Vinny?????? I just dont see it......
SLJ August 23, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Meanwhile Phil is the fan's favorite--and always will be.
George Mulligan August 23, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Tiger Woods is the greatest thing that has happened to golf since i was a young man. At that time Arnie Palmer and "fat" Jack Nicklaus put the game on the map. I can't name ten present day golfers, but I know Tiger Woods has been a champion for many years. When he is not among the leaders in a tournament, ratings stink.
Ralebird August 24, 2012 at 04:35 AM
Where are today's pictures of Harrington? Woods is having his best year in quite a while but McIlroy is leading the points this year. There is no reason for Woods to get the headline here and there will be no reason to show his every stroke Sunday if he's nine behind the leader and there are two other guys one behind, but that's what we'll see.
Vincent August 24, 2012 at 10:32 AM
Mike: See the above comment by gj. gj: This tournament is all about Tiger. Every tournament is all about Tiger don't you know?
Carmela Soprano August 24, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Tiger is good for the game. Ratings on television viewship and tournament attendance SOAR when he is playing. That's probably why he'll be picked for the Ryder Cup (again). He is leading with the FEDEX points going into the Barclays and he and McIlroy are playing the media with a supposed rivalry. They were having dinner together at the Bethpage clubhouse yesterday afternoon (my spouse is working the tournament). So, let's keep saying it's all about Tiger! LOL! Ca Ching! P.S.: Ryder Cup officials were there yesterday seriously talking about the Black Course as a venue for a future event. Ca Ching!
Jason Molinet August 24, 2012 at 07:28 PM
I missed Harrington. He has also fallen off the leaderboard midway through Round Two.
TS August 25, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Go Phil Mickelson!!! Definitely a fan favorite!! And Phil loves his NY fans! Standup guy!
TS August 26, 2012 at 03:09 AM
I'll say it again...Phil is a fan favorite!! My husband took my 7 year old son to the Barclays today. While leaving one hole to go to the next, Phil made eye contact with my son, said "Hey bud" and threw a ball to my son. He was on cloud 9!! Phil just earned a new fan forever in a seven year old boy. Meanwhile, later in the day my son tried to tell Tiger he had a nice hit as he walked by. Tiger completely ignored him. Now I'm not naive to think that yes he has a lot on his mind being in a big tournament, but other golfers made an effort with the fans. Tiger has a lot to work on to get back to the top of his game, not only on the course but also with the fans. He may be one of golfs greatest players, but he made a very big impression with my 7 year old today, and let's just say it wasn't a good one!
Vincent August 26, 2012 at 10:40 AM
TS: Yes, Phil is the fan favorite and especially on Long Island. Yet we constantly get Woods pushed down our throats. I think today is the day Wood's back is going to be bothering him again if he starts missing those chippie puts.
Vincent August 26, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Watching Tiger Woods is just like watching Roger Clemens. Two over the hill has beens.
Ralebird August 27, 2012 at 05:26 AM
Clemens had a better weekend than Woods did and people in Texas tell me fans were paying up to $1500 for a ticket to the Skeeters game.
Vincent August 27, 2012 at 11:30 AM
Yes Clemens did have a better weekend proving that he still can strikeout little boys and also get not so smart people to part with their money. On the other hand no one is afraid of Woods anymore.

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