Between the weather and the crowds, the USGA may decide not to return the U.S. Open to Bethpage Black in the future and that would be a huge mistake.

The weather has been awful, rain suspended play early on Thursday, suspended play late on Saturday and delayed the start of play on Sunday. If the weather holds today and tomorrow, they should finish this tournament Monday. If not, we may be watching golf most of next week. But, this is on track to be one of the wettest June's in New York history. We already have received over twice the amount of rain this month than we usually do. Hopefully, the USGA will realize this is an anomaly and not use weather as an excuse to skip a future return to Bethpage.

The behavior of the crowd is another matter. There have been reports all week of fans acting badly and yesterday they taunted players as the rain came down. Golf is certainly a staid, some would say stuffy, spectator sport. What qualifies as “being a good fan” at Yankee Stadium is way over the top in most golf crowds. The crowds at Bethpage, one of the main reasons the Open came back after 2002 have been mostly great. Yes, some guys who probably had too much to drink got loud yesterday, but is that a reason to skip Bethpage in the future? No, it is a reason to sell people less beer in the future.

The beauty of the courses at Bethpage State Park is that it truly is “open”. Anyone who is willing to get to the courses early can play. You don’t have to plunk down some outrageous initiation fee to get in, you just need $50 or $60 if you live in New York, more if you don’t, and you can play the same tees as Tiger Woods. Most of us will never get to walk on the field at Yankee Stadium, or skate at The Garden, but we can play the same holes the best golfers in the world do. For a sport whose foundations are elitist, that is something worth celebrating and the USGA should bring the tournament back to Bethpage in the next decade.