Alumni Report: Adam Long shocks at PGA Tour Desert Classic
20 Jan 2019
by Pete Wlodkowski of AmateurGolf.com
see also: Adam Long Rankings
Ever wonder what happens to top amateurs after they pass through the web pages of AmateurGolf.com? Welcome to our new series, the Alumni Report. Each week, we’ll profile a former AmateurGolf.com member now navigating the pro waters, providing a progress report and a snapshot of his or her amateur career.
Adam Long is now a PGA Tour winner (PGA Tour photo via Twitter)
When Phil Mickelson is in the mix, the ratings go up. So as I found myself watching the closing holes of the PGA Tour's Desert Classic, I figured the inevitable was unfolding, as Mickelson and Adam Hadwin traded barbs down the stretch.
Then came the par save from the third guy in the group, the almost unknown Adam Long. Even after covering the amateur game I had to go the website and do a player search.
Especially after Long hit the shot of the tournament, a mid-iron from a downhill lie into the treacherous 18th green. Long had to step forward to keep his balance, but not before keeping the cluibhead on the perfect path to send the ball towering in for a landing, just 10 feet below the hole.
And there he was, a multi-year member of AmateurGolf.com who took the time to completely fill out his profile, listing Scotland and Pebble Beach as the top two destinations on his golf wish list.
Long was a four-year All American from Duke who set the 36 and 54-hole scoring records at the 2009 Northeast Amateur. (He shot 70 in the final round to lose by three to Daniel Woltman, who fired 64.) But his road to the PGA Tour has been nothing if not circuitous. There's been the PGA Latino American Tour. The Canadian Tour. And the Web.com Tour. Almost ten years of hard work, but never a victory.
As Mickelson's approach into No. 18 at the Stadium Course wound up almost 30-feet short of the hole, and Hadwin found the back bunker, Long's amazing shot looked even more important. As in, life-changing important.
All of a sudden, after Mickelson and Hadwin missed their birdie tries, it was all down to one, career defining moment.
With the Win500 FedEx Cup points
2019 PGA Championship
2020 Sentry TOC
"It was one of those putts," Long told Golf Channel, "that you stand over and you just know you're going to make."
The $1,062,000 first place check is just the beginning for Long. He gets the full complement of benefits that go along with a win, starting with a two-year PGA Tour exemption, and a Masters invite. He jumped 193 places on the FedEx Cup points list, to No. 11.
And that dream of playing Pebble Beach that Long told us about 10 years ago when filling out his AGC profile? He is highly likely to be among the exempt players when the U.S. Open visits Pebble Beach this June, and we'll expect to see him warming up for that at the AT&T Pebble Beach Classic in February.