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Roundup: Mickelson closes in

Roundup: Mickelson closes in
Late birdies allowed Phil Mickelson to take a two shot lead over Adam Hadwin into the final round of The Desert Classic in Palm Springs.
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Playing out of the fourth-to-last threesome, World No. 346 Talor Gooch tossed up a day-low, 8-under-par 30-34=64 in the final round of the Desert Classic to finish up his second appearance (T67/2018) on 24-under 264, up three spots to a career-best solo 4th, two adrift of champion Adam Long, who shot 65.

The Oklahoma State alum's closing 64 matches a career low in 90 rounds (x3). This was his 33th event, first top 10, and brushes aside a previous-best T13 at the 2018 Wells Fargo. The 27-year-old, playing this season on conditional status, improves to 2-for-4 with two top 25s (T14, Sanderson Farms), and checked in off back-to-back missed cuts, including at last week's Sony as an open-qualifier. After opening with 67-67-66, he began T7, six back of leader Phil Mickelson, and hit 11 (of 14) fairways and 14 greens in regulation. Gooch rang up nine birdies to camouflage a one bogey-5 at 15, recording 3.782 SG: Tee-to-Green and 2.095 SG: Putting. For the week, he totaled one eagle and 26 birdies against four bogeys, and the top 10 earns him a spot into this coming week's Farmers.
Jan 20 - 8:08 PM

Playing out of the final threesome, World No. 70 Adam Hadwin tacked on a 5-under-par 31-36=67 in the final round of the Desert Classic to finish in a two-way T2 on 25-under 263, one swing short of playing competitor and champion Adam Long, who shot bogey-free 65.

After opening with 65-66-65, the Scottsdale resident began solo 2nd, two shy of leader Phil Mickelson and one clear of TOUR rookie Long. He hit 10 (of 14) fairways and 12 greens in regulation, gaining 2.520 approaching but losing 2.142 around-the-green. The 31-year-old went out in bogey-free 5-under, now the leader by two, and after birdie-4 at 11, his sixth of the day, led by three. He stalled out from there, however, playing his final seven holes in birdie-less 1-over (bogey at 13), and ending with 1.502 SG: Putting and 26 total putts. For the week, the Canadian tallied one eagle and 26 birdies against three bogeys. This was his fifth appearance, fourth straight top 10 and second runner-up (2017 as 54-hole leader), and his third top 10 of the season in six starts, bettering a pair of T10s. Hadwin, chasing his second TOUR title in 127 events, settles for his second runner-up.
Jan 20 - 7:49 PM

Playing out of the final threesome, two-time past champ and overnight leader Phil Mickelson labored to a 3-under-par 35-34=69 in the final round of the Desert Classic, dipping one spot into a two-way T2 on 25-under 263, one short of PGA TOUR rookie and playing competitor Adam Long, who erased a three-shot deficit and hoisted the trophy after a bogey-free 65.

The Hall of Famer, who led outright after Rounds 1, 2 and 3, drops to 25-for-40 when leading/co-leading after 54 holes, zero for his last four. He improves to 2-for-2 on the season (T17, Safeway) and settles for his 36th runner-up in 596 events, first since T2 at the 2018 AT&T Pebble Beach last February. After opening with career-tying-low 60, 68-66, the World No. 34 led by three, two, and two shots, respectively. On seven (of 14) fairways and 17 greens in regulation, he squared two bogey-5s at holes 1 (3-putt from 29'8") and 9 (penalty drop), offset by five circles at 2, 5, 7 (from 11'4"), 15 and 16. The 48-year-old, who was chasing his 44th TOUR title, posted a dismal 1.824 putts per GIR and -3.251 SG: Putting, missing three putts from seven feet and in. For the week, he totaled one eagle and 27 birdies against two bogeys and one double.
Jan 20 - 7:29 PM

Making his tournament debut, PGA TOUR rookie and World No. 417 Adam Long (rota: NT-SC-LQ) painted a bogey-free, 7-under-par 33-32=65 in the final round of the Desert Classic to reach 26-under 262, good for a one-shot win over playing competitors Adam Hadwin (67) and Phil Mickelson (69), who was the leader after each of the first three rounds.

The 31-year-old, a pre-tourney 500/1 outright, bags his first TOUR title in six events, brushing aside a previous-best T63 at the season-opening Safeway. Prior to this week, his highest position after any round was T4 after R1 (Safeway). The Duke alum, who's made 137 starts on various mini tours, also records his first pro win of any kind. After kicking off with 63-71-63, the 63s both career lows, he began in solo 3rd, three back. The New Orleans native hit nine (of 14) fairways and 12 greens in regulation, gaining 1.991 strokes tee-to-green and 2.886 on-the-green. He rang up seven birdies, all birdie-3s, including the winner on the 72nd hole from 13'9". For the week, Long tallied three eagles and 24 birdies versus two bogeys and one double. Along with a two-year exemption, he earns a host of goodies, including an invite to the 2019 Masters.
Jan 20 - 7:09 PM

Defending champ and World No. 7 Jon Rahm handed in a 5-under-par 32-35=67 after the final round of the Desert Classic to wrap on 21-under 267, up one place to solo 6th, five adrift of PGA TOUR rookie and champion Adam Long, who shot bogey-free 65.

After opening with 66-66-68 (LQ-NT-SC), the ASU alum began T7, six back. Playing out of the third-to-last threesome, he found 10 (of 14) fairways and 14 greens in regulation, gaining 2.864 strokes tee-to-green. The 24-year-old squared a lone bogey-4 at 13, outpaced by six circles at holes 3-5, 7, 10 and 17, three from between 10 and 33 feet. He registered 1.643 putts per GIR but a pedestrian 0.031 SG: Putting, missing four scoring tries from nine feet and in, and finished the week with 26 birdies against five bogeys. It's the Spaniard's second top 10 in three visits (P1/2018) and improves to 3-for-3 on the season with three top 25s and two top 10s, bettering a T8 at the Sentry TOC in his last start.
Jan 20 - 6:50 PM

World No. 313 J.T. Poston stalled out to a 3-under-par 31-38=69 in the final round of the Desert Classic to conclude on 19-under 269, currently T7, which is where he began.

Play is winding down but the Western Carolina alum will hold on for his first top 10 of the season in seven events, third top 25 and second straight (T20, Sony). This was his third appearance and second cash, bettering a T34 on debut in 2017 two tries ago. After opening with 68-68 and career-tying-low 64, the 25-year-old began T7 on 16-under, six back of leader Mickelson. On nine (of 14) fairways and 12 greens in regulation, he went out in bogey-free 5-under with three birdies and one eagle-3, three of those converted from between 10 and 45 feet, but came home in birdie-less 2-over, squaring 11 (3-putt from 16'2") and 17 (3-putt from 41'5"). For the week, the Georgia resident tallied one eagle and 22 birdies versus five bogeys, and records his first top 10 since solo 5th at the 2018 Barbasol last July.
Jan 20 - 6:27 PM

World No. 212 Sean O'Hair carded a 3-under-par 34-35=69 in the final round of the Desert Classic to finish up on 18-under 270, up two places to T10 with play still in progress.

After opening with 66-67-68, the Texan began T12 on 15-under, one shy of the overnight top 10. He hit eight (of 14) fairways and 12 greens in regulation, gaining 0.233 strokes off-the-tee. The 36-year-old squared two bogey-5s at 10 and 18 (penalty drop), offset by five birdies at 5, 8, 12, 14 (from 28'11") and 16, three of those 2-putt varieties. He registered 1.833 putts per GIR and 0.615 SG: Putting, ending the week with 25 birdies against seven bogeys. This was O'Hair's eighth appearance, second top 25, and potentially a second top 10, joining T9 two tries ago. He improves to 3-for-6 on the season with this being his first top-40 finish (T46, RSM), and if the top 10 holds, his first since T2 at the 2018 Valero last April.
Jan 20 - 6:06 PM

World No. 305 Vaughn Taylor styled a 6-under-par 33-33=66 in the final round of the Desert Classic to wrap on 19-under 269, up 11 spots to T8 with play still in progress. UPDATE: With play completed, Taylor finished T7.

This was the 42-year-old's ninth appearance, fourth top 25 and should be a third top 10, first since T10 in 2010. He improves to 5-for-7 on the season, checking in off back-to-back missed cuts, and records his first top 25 (T26 x2). If the top 10 holds (likely), it would be his second in his last 27 starts, joining a T9 at the 2018 Barracuda nine starts ago. After opening 68-66-69, the Augusta State alum began T19 on 13-under, three shy of the overnight top 10. On 12 (of 14) fairways and 14 greens in regulation, he was bogey-free 8-under thru 16 holes, circling six and a chip-in eagle-3 at 16, before double bogey-5 at 17 (tee ball watered). For the week, the Virginia native totaled one eagle and 25 birdies versus four bogeys and two doubles.
Jan 20 - 5:50 PM
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