LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP) — Adam Long bounced around golf’s backwoods for years, winning only a lone Hooters Tour event. Now, he’s headed to the Masters as a PGA Tour winner.
Long won the Desert Classic on Sunday at PGA West, beating Hall of Famer Phil Mickelson and Adam Hadwin by a stroke with a 14-foot birdie putt on the final hole after a 6-iron approach from an awkward stance.
“In some ways it’s been a little bit of a roller-coaster, but it’s been a steady improvement throughout my career,” Long 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.”
Long closed with a 7-under 65 on the Stadium Course, holing the winning putt after Mickelson’s 40-foot birdie try curled left at the end.
“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….