Crunching the Numbers

Adam Long became the first PGA Tour player in 31 years to accomplish this incredible piece of perfection

November 05, 2023
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Orlando Ramirez

No matter what preview you were reading last week about El Cardonal at Diamante Resort, the first Tiger Woods-designed golf course to host a PGA Tour event, it was sure to contain a variation of the following theme: Tour pros will find plenty of room off the tee at the Los Cabos, Mexico, course.

And, indeed, they did. As Erik van Rooyen walked off with an emotional victory on Sunday at the World Wide Technology Championship, the finally tally was in. The field hit a collective 5,740 tee shots on the par 4s and par 5s over four rounds, and 5,194 landed in the fairway. That’s a 90.48 percent accuracy rate, an astonishing number when you consider most hit previously in any tournament during the 2022-23 season was 74.94 percent at the Masters.

En route to victory, Van Rooyen missed just four fairways—and ranked T-25 among his peers. Finishing first in the field was Adam Long, who didn’t miss a single fairway all week, a first on the PGA Tour in 31 years.

“It’s something I’ll be able to say forever,” Long told PGATour.com, “some sort of bragging rights or an interesting stat at trivia nights.”

For the season, Long ranks 13th on tour in driving accuracy, hitting 66.78 percent. So maybe it wasn’t a surprise that he would be out front in Mexico.

Long admitted he was thinking about keeping his perfect week intact as he played the last hole, the reachable par-5 18th with a fairway bunker along the left side of the hole. Long’s tee shot drifted toward the sand, and because of the way the tee box was positioned, he wasn’t sure if where his ball finished up until he walked a good way up the hole.

“I was like, ‘Ahh come on, don’t make it the last one! It’s alright to miss one, but don’t make it the very last hole!’” Long said. “So we get over the crest, maybe 100 yards before the ball, and it’s sitting right in front of the bunker and it was mine. It hung on for dear life. It was only a few feet from going into that bunker.”

But here’s the scary part: Long ended up 10 shots back of van Rooyen, coming in T-23. And, as it turns out, accuracy hasn’t helped the 36-year-old former tour winner shoot lower scores much this season. Despite playing in 36 events, Long is 142nd in the FedEx Cup points list. Aware he was in jeopardy of losing his PGA Tour card, Long is signed up for the second stage of Qualifying School.