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Volume 24 No. 181

Events and Attractions

The Barclays and the PGA Tour are "negotiating to bring" the FedExCup tournament to Bethpage Black in '12, according to a source cited by Doug Ferguson of the AP. The source noted that "such a deal would need approval by the New York state parks and recreation department and the tour's policy board." USGA Senior Dir of Rules & Competition Mike Davis said that he "was not aware of a deal for The Barclays to go to Bethpage Black," which has hosted two U.S. Opens. But Davis indicated that it "would be at least a decade before the U.S. Open returned to the public course." He added, "I do know the Bethpage people have been looking at other events they could do." Ferguson noted The Barclays, the opening event of the PGA Tour's playoffs, has "rotated around New York and northern New Jersey since" the FedExCup began in '07. It has gone from Westchester, the tournament's first home, "to Liberty National to Ridgewood Country Club, and is set for this year at Plainfield Country Club" (AP, 2/16). On Long Island, Greg Logan notes "given the USGA's success at a public venue, the PGA Tour's only New York-area event might well make a greater impact at Bethpage Black." The "question would be whether Barclays and the PGA Tour would invest funds to insure top-quality course maintenance as the USGA did in the past" (NEWSDAY, 2/17).

Boston Marathon organizers yesterday announced plans to "overhaul registration for the 2012 marathon and tighten qualifying standards" for '13, the "first time in 33 years the Marathon has toughened its qualifying times," according to Hohler & Springer of the BOSTON GLOBE. The Boston Athletic Association "unveiled the new rules four months after registration for the 2011 event closed in a record 8 hours and 3 minutes." The amended policy is "aimed at guaranteeing entry to the fastest marathoners through a rolling, online admissions process that permits top qualifiers to register first." By "tightening the qualifying standards -- they will drop by five minutes in every age category for men and women -- organizers hope to further accommodate the best runners without increasing the overall field or the burden on cities and towns along the 26.2-mile course." BAA officials said that they have "no plans to significantly address the large number of nonqualifying participants." Former marathoner Tom Derderian, who wrote a book about the Boston Marathon, said that the "revamped policies satisfy the BAA’s need 'to adapt to the contemporary context’ of the race by limiting the impact on cities and towns along the course." Hohler & Springer note even "with the registration changes, however, the BAA may not be able to restore its proud tradition of accommodating every qualified marathoner." BAA officials last year estimated that "as many as 3,000 qualified runners were denied entry for the 2010 race" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/17).