In a tournament where it looked like Phil Mickelson might run away with it after his opening round 12-under (60) at La Quinta, Adam Long had other plans. Long also jumped out to a quick start, shooting the second lowest round of the opening day with a 9-under (63) on the Nicklaus Tournament Course.
The Desert Classic tournament is played in Palm Springs, California on three courses: PGA West Stadium course, the Nicklaus Tournament course, and La Quinta. Professional players play alongside amateurs for the first three days, rotating through all three courses. The field is cut down after 54 holes and the remaining professionals and select few amateurs return to the Stadium course for Sunday’s final round.
By the end of round three, Phil’s lead remained three shots over Long, and two shots over his closest competitor, Adam Hadwin, setting up for a three-way showdown on Sunday.
Sunday proved to be everything we hoped it would be, with all three leaders playing together in the final group, battling back and forth, shot for shot.
All three players hit incredible shots throughout the round. Long chipped in twice, Phil carved long irons into par 5s that kept him alive, and Hadwin was steady as a rock most of the day. In the end it came down to all three players tied at -25 heading into the 72nd and final hole.
On 18, Hadwin flew the green and landed in the bunker with his second shot, while Phil safely found the green. Long hit maybe the shot of the tournament on his approach. Missing the fairway, he stood over a ball that was below his feet and on the edge of the two different grasses. With water left and everything on the line, Long stuck his shot to just inside 14 feet.
Hadwin stuck his bunker shot to a foot ensuring his par, which left Phil and Long with birdie putts and a chance to pull ahead. Phil’s putt tracked online for 99% of the way but just ran out of steam and dove under the cup. From the distance it was a great putt, but the miss meant Long could step up and win.
To put into context of what Adam Long was going through walking up to the putt, you need to know where he’s been in his career. This is his 6th career PGA Tour start, his best finish so far is a T-63. He played in 113 career Web.com Tour events and never won. So, when Adam Long stepped up and knocked in the right to left putt to win the Desert Classic, he could say he belonged.
Congrats to Adam Long on his first career victory!
These are the clubs Adam Long used to win the Desert Classic (As reported by PGATOUR):
Scotty Cameron Futura X5R
Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA
The European Tour kicked off its season with the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Shane Lowry opened with a course record-tying 10-under (62) and took a 3 shot lead into the final day.
On the final day Lowry faltered early and South African Richard Sterne took full advantage on the opening nine, going out in 31. Sterne had opened a 4-shot lead through 11 and it looked like Lowry had missed his chance.
Lowry, who wasn’t sure he had it, picked himself up off the canvas and kept throwing punches. After clawing back into the hunt, Lowry holed a massive par save on 17 that kept him tied heading into the final hole.
Lowry found the green on the par-5 18th in two, while Sterne’s second shot missed wide to the right. With Sterne unable to get up and down, Lowry converted his two-putt birdie and secured his first victory on the European Tour since the 2015 WGC Bridgestone.
Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions
The LPGA Tour began their season with their own Tournament of Champions in Orlando, Florida. All the big names like the Jutanugarn sisters, Brooke Henderson and Lexi Thompson teed it up for the first time in 2019.
Though, it was Eun-Hee Ji who bested the field of 2018 winners shooting 14-under. Mirim Lee finished in second place two strokes back and Nelly Korda finished in third at 11-under par.
Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai
The PGA Tour Champions got back under way this weekend with their own trip to Hawaii. David Toms had a 4-shot lead early in the final day, until the Bulldog, Tom Lehman, came storming back and put the pressure on Toms down the stretch.
Lehman birdied 3 of the final 7 holes to pull even with Toms heading to the 18th (all three major men’s professional Tours came down to the final hole). Both men reached the green in two and had birdie chances.
Toms slid his putt well past the hole, which gave Lehman an opportunity to end it with a birdie. Lehman’s putt slide just left of the hole and he tapped in for par and a 7-under 65. Toms had the opportunity to extend the tournament to a playoff, but could not save his par, missing the comeback par attempt.
The victory, Lehman’s 12th Champions Tour win, is bittersweet. He would have much rather won the tournament by birdieing the final hole as versus watching Toms three-putt the tournament away.