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Adam Long wins Desert Classic, beating Phil Mickelson, Adam Hadwin

Adam Long celebrates on the 18th green after winning the Desert Classic golf tournament on the Stadium Course at PGA West on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in La Quinta, Calif. (Chris Carlson / Associated Press)
Adam Long celebrates on the 18th green after winning the Desert Classic golf tournament on the Stadium Course at PGA West on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in La Quinta, Calif. (Chris Carlson / Associated Press)
Associated Press

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Adam Long made a 14-foot birdie putt on the final hole Sunday to win the Desert Classic for his first PGA Tour title.

Making his sixth career start on the tour, Long closed with a 7-under 65 on the Stadium Course at PGA West to beat playing partners Phil Mickelson and Adam Hadwin by a stroke.

Mickelson, the leader after each of the first three rounds, fought putting problems in a 69. His 40-foot birdie try on 18 curled left at the end.

Long set up with the winning putt with a 6-iron shot from 175 yards with the ball below his feet in dormant grass on a mound to the right of the fairway. The 31-year-old former Duke player earned his PGA Tour card with a 13th-place finish last year on the Web.com Tour’s regular-season money list.

Hadwin shot 67, losing a three-stroke lead on the back nine.

The Canadian had his fourth straight top-six finish in the event. He was second in 2017 after a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club and tied for third last year.

Long finished at 26-under 262, chipping in twice on the back nine to remain in contention.

He opened with a 63 on PGA West’s Nicklaus Tournament Course, shot 71 on Friday at the Stadium layout and had another 63 on Saturday at La Quinta to get into the final group with Mickelson and Hadwin.

The 48-year-old Mickelson was making his first tour start since early October and first competitive appearance since beating Tiger Woods in Las Vegas in November in a made-for-TV event.

LPGA

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Eun-Hee Ji of South Korea outlasted the cold and wind to close with a 1-under 70 and win the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions by two shots in the LPGA Tour season opener.

Ji shared the 54-hole lead with Lydia Ko, who fell apart on the back nine at Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons. Ko was one shot behind when she made double bogey on the par-5 13th and wound up shooting 42 on the back nine for a closing 77.

Ji finished at 14-under 270 to win by two over Mirim Lee, who made only one bogey in her round of 68. Nelly Korda (71) finished third.

Stacy Lewis, in her first competition as a mother, shot 70 and tied for sixth.

The LPGA opener was limited to winners over the last two seasons. It also included a celebrity field of athletes and entertainers who competed for a $500,000 purse using the modified Stableford scoring system. Former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz had 33 points in the final round for a three-point victory over former pitcher Mark Mulder.

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