Tiger Hits Bethpage Black to Prepare for Open - NBC New York

Tiger Hits Bethpage Black to Prepare for Open

Woods plays practice round in advance of next week's U.S. Open

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Tiger Hits Bethpage Black to Prepare for Open
    Getty Images
    Tiger hits the Island in hopes of conquering it for the second time.

    There are still 10 days before the U.S. Open gets underway at Bethpage Black on Long Island, but the course is already hopping. Tiger Woods didn't waste any time after winning the Memorial on Sunday before jetting in to play a practice round on Monday morning. Heavy is the head that tries to defend the U.S. Open crown.

    Woods didn't have to spend the night in the parking lot to secure his 9:26 a.m. tee time, and he got a heavy police escort on his way to the first tee and around the course. That didn't stop other dufferes from getting an unexpected treat when they noticed who was on the course at the same time. Newsday was there for the moment when Woods teed off and reports about 30 people lined up to watch Woods' drive.  

    Woods was the only player to break par when the Open last visited Bethpage in 2002, but he wasn't the only contender trying to figure out the best way around the course on Monday. 2007 Masters champ Zach Johnson teed off just before Woods, and others will likely be parading through the gates to size up the monster that waits for them on June 18th.

    Justin Timberlake is also scheduled to play Black later in the day. Timberlake isn't in the Open field, he's joining Michael Jordan and Ben Roethlisberger in a televised attempt to break 100 on Friday, but he's likely to garner a lot less interest than Woods unless a high school prom is taking place on the 12th fairway.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.