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Veteran Long hits a purple patch

Six months after his triumph in the WA PGA Championship at Kalgoorlie Golf Course, veteran New Zealander Michael Long has won the Australian PGA Seniors Championship in dramatic fashion.

Chipping in for birdie on the final hole, Perth-based Long last week pipped Peter Senior by one stroke.

In only his second event on the Ladbrokes Legends Tour, Long claimed the two biggest titles after also winning the recent Lincoln Place NSW Senior Open.

It was the first time in Long’s 30-year career he had recorded victories in consecutive weeks.

Long carded rounds of 65, 65 and 68 to finish at 12-under, one shot ahead of Senior at 11-under.

A brilliant birdie on the 72nd hole from Long was all that separated the pair.

“I am honoured to win the Australian PGA Seniors title — it’s pretty neat to win your association’s national title,” Long said.

It was the second successive week Long and Senior went head-to-head, with Long winning both by a shot.

“Everyone is competitive out here,” Long said.

“I was a bit nervous with Peter chasing me but that’s what it’s all about.

“Competing against legends like Peter Senior is a dream — I actually can’t think of too many things better than that.”

In May, Long produced a superb final round to grab the WA PGA title.

Cromwell-born Long turned professional in 1990 and within three years, had moved to Perth.

“I can’t believe it was that long ago (2008) since I last won this (Goldfields) tournament,” he said.

“Time goes quicker the older you get but the first tournament you ever win, you think it’s going to happen a lot more often than you think.

“But then you realise that it doesn’t, so to win in Kalgoorlie was pretty special.”

Long loves Kalgoorlie Golf Course.

“It’s a really tough golf course — it’s long, the greens are challenging, but it’s in great shape,” he said.

“Most guys who come out here want to come back because it’s actually quite stunning and the contrast between the greens and the red dirt is visually amazing.

“It’s something very unique — you might get something like it in the desert in America.

“Kalgoorlie is world class and a typical Graham Marsh-designed course — never easy to play and always tough.

“It’s a great test of golf, but I think this course is fair, unlike some others.”

Long now heads to the USA for the Champions Tour Qualifying School as he attempts to obtain a card for the 2019 season.

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