DURHAM, N.C. -- Former Duke golfer Adam Long finished with an eagle and birdie in his last three holes to fire a second round 65 and secure a spot in the U.S. Open with a tie for fourth finish during sectional qualifying in Columbus, Ohio on Monday. Long, a 2010 Duke graduate, was one of 16 players to advance from the site.
Long posted a two-under 70 at Brookside Golf & Country Club in the morning. He carded three birdies and three bogeys before collecting an eagle on the par 5 15th to gain momentum heading into the second round. Long came back for his afternoon round at The Lakes Golf Country Club and had seven birdies, two bogeys and an eagle en route to a seven-under 65. The St. Louis native, who now lives in Pinehurst, NC, eagled the par 5 seventh hole and carded a birdie on number nine (his final hole of the day) to charge up the leaderboard. Long's 135 total placed him tied for fourth in a 120-player field filled with PGA Tour pros.
Long was a 2010 All-ACC selection and a four-time ACC All-Academic team pick while with the Blue Devils. He was also a Byron Nelson Award Finalist as a senior and an Academic All-America in 2009 as a junior. Long closed his Duke career ranked among the program leaders in stroke average (second, 72.70), under-par rounds (t-seventh, 34), even-par rounds (first, 21), even-par or better rounds (third, 55), top 20 finishes (t-second, 27), tournaments played (t-third, 48) and rounds played (t-second, 140).
While Long was the only player with Duke ties to advance, the Blue Devils had six other players competing across the 11 sectional sites for spots in the Open. Rising sophomore Yaroslav Merkulov placed 18th with a 71-73=144 total at Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, N.J. Other Duke alums competing included PGA Tour pros Nathan Smith and Joe Ogilvie, Mike Muehr, Michael Schachner and recent grad Wes Roach.
Long will play in the U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., June 16-19th. He previously made it to sectional qualifying in 2009 but was unable to advance to the Open that year.
Duke golf has had success in sectional qualifying over three of the past four years. In 2009, Clark Klaasen and Ryan Blaum advanced out of both local and sectionals to play at the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black. After finishing as an alternate after local qualifying, Michael Quagliano got late word he had made sectionals in Memphis, Tenn and advanced to play at Torrey Pines in 2008. Duke PGA Tour veteran Joe Ogilvie played in the 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2008 U.S. Opens, while Tour Pro Kevin Streelman played in 2008.