Is this the Bethpage Black we remember from U.S. Opens past?
PGA Tour

Is this the Bethpage Black we remember from U.S. Opens past?

It would seem that some of what are traditionally known as "tough" golf courses are failing to live up to their billing.

Bethpage Black yielded a 7-under 64 for Padraig Harrington, as the Irishman set the pace on Thursday in the opening round of The Barclays.

You know, the same Bethpage Black course that hosted the 2002 and '09 U.S. Opens where the combined winning scores between Tiger Woods and Lucas Glover was 7 under par. While it is still early, it appears the field will have no problem going low on what's billed as one of the world's toughest tracks.

It's just another example of the best players in the world flexing their muscle against whatever is thrown their way.

Earlier in the month at the PGA Championship, Rory McIlroy absolutely demolished the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island to the tune of 13 under par en route to an eight-shot victory. Despite bearing its teeth on a blustry Day 2 and a downpour on Day 3, McIlroy made Kiawah Island look easy.

Looking even further back to the Open Championship, players were once again treated to a moderately-difficult rendition of Royal Lytham & St. Annes, thanks to a largely forgiving week from Mother Nature. Ernie Els may have won at 7 under par, but Adam Scott relinquished his lead after having reached 11 under.

It would seem that the elements have remained in favor of the player this second half of 2012, at least for the players that are on their games.

If the opening round of The Barclays is any indication of a continuing trend, look for another unexpectedly low score to be atop the leaderboard come Sunday.

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Adam Fonseca

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