If you can name a professional golf tour, Adam Long played on it. He played on the PGA Latino Tour, zero wins. He played on the Web.com tour, zero wins in 113 starts. His first few months on the PGA Tour, first professional tour. World ranking of 417.
Long’s first win couldn’t have been scripted better. He started the day three shots behind one of his golf idols, Phil Mickelson, and finished one stroke ahead. Two chip-ins on the back nine, a flubbed chip on the back nine that lead to a par on an easy par 5, a clutch, ball below his feet approach on 18 all led to a life changing putt of 14 feet. Long’s life will be different now.Embed from Getty Images
The final round looked like it was Adam Hadwin’s to lose. He caught Mickelson, passed Mickelson, built a multiple stroke lead. Long trotted along, seemingly under the radar even though nearly all of his shots were televised, and after his flubbed chip, he looked like top 3 was the best he was going to do. Long showed his moxy and shook off the par on the 16th with a solid par on 17. Left with a hanging lie for his approach on 18, Long his the shot of his career.
Adam Hadwin flew his approach to 18 into the back bunker. He almost holed it and settled for par. Phil Mickelson had 20ft for birdie to take a one stroke lead. The putt missed low and Mickelson settled for par. The stage was set for Long. Like the PGA Tour veteran that he isn’t, he drained it like he’s been on the biggest golfing stage for a decade.
Adam Long’s life is changed forever. Beyond the money, he’s only made $13,568 thus far this season, he is now exempt until 2021. He gets into The Masters. He gets into the PGA Championship. He’s in The Players. He’s in the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He can plan his golfing life for the next two years. That is a lot of pressure gone from someone who’s never won on a professional tour. His swing will be a lot more free after today.