Adam Long birdied the final hole at La Quinta to win the Desert Classic by a shot from Adam Hadwin and Phil Mickelson in just his sixth start on the PGA Tour.
Adam Long wins Desert Classic
Adam Long fired a closing 65 in the Desert Classic at La Quinta to claim his maiden PGA Tour title in only his sixth start on the circuit. He finished one clear of Phil Mickelson and Adam Hadwin.
Mickelson led through each of the first three rounds having opened with a 12-under-par 60 at La Quinta, but he struggled with the putter on Sunday as Long made his move.
Long gained his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour last season and he has already made the very most of the opportunity. Firing a superb 6-iron to the closing hole at La Quinta, he then holed the 15-foot birdie putt to win the tournament by a shot.
“I got a pretty good read off Phil’s putt,” Long said. “It was one of those putts that you just stand over you just know you’re going to make. And you can’t control that, but when you have that feeling it’s a good one. I’m in pretty disbelief right now. I don’t really know what happened.”
At 31, Long is something of a late developer but has now made his mark at golf’s highest level.
“In some ways it’s been a little bit of a roller-coaster, but it’s been a steady improvement throughout my career,” he said. ” I’ve played in pretty much most tours around the world that there are and just kind of steadily progressed. It kind of can seem like it came out of nowhere, but my game’s been trending in the right direction for really the last two years now.”
Mickelson, who opened with a brilliant putting display in a first round 60, was left to wonder what had happened to the flat stick on day four.
“I had a terrible putting day — one of the worst I can recall in a while,” Mickelson said. “Started right on the first hole with a little 4-footer uphill and three-putting that green. And I missed a bunch of short ones on the front and some birdie opportunities, but it felt awful with the putter. I hit a lot of good shots today, but just couldn’t get the ball to go in the hole.”
Adam Hadwin of Canada finished tied second with Mickelson with Talor Gooch in fourth place and Dominic Bozzelli in fifth.
Stadium Course, La Quinta, Californria
Purse: $5,900,000 Par: 72
1 Adam Long (USA) 63 71 63 65 262 $1,062,000
T2 Adam Hadwin (Can) 65 66 65 67 263 $519,200
T2 Phil Mickelson (USA) 60 68 66 69 263 $519,200
4 Talor Gooch (USA) 67 67 66 64 264 $283,200
5 Dominic Bozzelli (USA) 67 69 64 66 266 $236,000
6 Jon Rahm (Esp) 66 66 68 67 267 $212,400
T7 J.T. Poston (USA) 68 68 64 69 269 $190,275
T7 Vaughn Taylor (USA) 68 66 69 66 269 $190,275
T9 Patrick Cantlay (USA) 67 66 66 71 270 $159,300
T9 Sean O’Hair (USA) 66 67 68 69 270 $159,300
T9 Michael Thompson (USA) 78 66 65 71 270 $159,300
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage