In June of 2002, the U.S. Open was played, for the first time in history, on a true public golf course. Bethpage State Park is owned by the state of New York, and no membership is required to play there. This is golf at its most populist, most pure--and most challenging. In what Tiger Woods himself would declare "the most difficult national championship," Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson, Nick Faldo, and the rest would, through days of rain and roughs, learn the hard way that while Bethpage may be open to the public, even for the pros the chance of winning can be closed off to mere mortals. With unprecedented backstage access, John Feinstein finally removes the mystery shrouding golf's most famous event, unraveling how pairings are made; qualifiers; setting up the golf course; and all the complexities of bringing golf's most exclusive competition to a truly public setting. In fascinating detail, Feinstein takes readers through every step, every thorny hole, every bitter rivalry of golf's greatest tournament.