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US Open returns to Bethpage in 2009

Bethpage State Park, which hosted the U.S. Open in June, will have the tournament there again in 2009, Gov. George Pataki said Wednesday.

The Black Course, so challenging there is a warning sign about its difficulty on the first tee, hosted the 102nd Open this summer and was the first true public course to stage the U.S. Golf Association's national championship. Tiger Woods finished three strokes ahead of Phil Mickleson to win this year's Open.

Pataki was expected to hold a news conference with USGA executive director David Fay on Thursday at the Long Island course.

"There is no greater testament to the overwhelming success of this year's U.S. Open than the return of the national championship to the Black Course in 2009," Pataki said in a statement.

New York had quietly invested more than $1 million since 1997 to secure this year's tournament at Bethpage State Park, which is in Farmingdale. The money paid for things such as removal of pebbles from sand traps as well as for the tightest security ever for the event, according to the state comptroller's office.

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