Long on record pace at Northeast Am

RUMFORD, R.I. – For the second consecutive day, Adam Long put his name in the record book of the Northeast Amateur.

With birdies on the final two holes, Long, of St. Louis, shot 2-under 67 Friday. His 9-under 198 total is one shot better than the previous best after 54 holes in this tournament, now in its 48th year at Wannamoisett Country Club.

The previous day, Long, an incoming senior at Duke, set the tournament’s record for low opening 36-hole total with his 7-under 131.

No doubt, Long would love to carry it through to the end Saturday when he attempts to win the tournament and best the 72-hole record of 9-under 267, set last year by Brendan Gielow.

But he will have his work cut out for him. Just one shot back at 199 is Robert Rohanna after a 65, while three behind at 201 are Dan Woltman, David Holmes and Gielow, looking to become the first back-to-back champ since Luke Donald in 2000-01.

Three other players are four strokes back with another trio five behind.

When Gielow won last year he became the first champion to post all four rounds in the 60s. He’s now extended that streak to seven with his 67-68-66 start this year.

“It should be a real shootout tomorrow,” said Long, a semifinalist at last year’s North & South Amateur. “It’s nice to have the lead going into the final round, but there’s a lot of great players in the hunt. I just want to be in position to have a chance to win coming down the last few holes. That would be a lot of fun.”

Long kept his front-nine streak intact, playing the first nine holes in even par for the third consecutive day. He made his first birdie at No. 10, but bogeyed 16. At 17, the course’s lone par-5, he drove into the left rough, left his second shot in the rough, knocked his third shot to 20 feet and made the putt. He closed out the round by sinking an 8-footer for birdie.

“The course played a little tougher today, especially starting out in the rain,” Long said. “There was a little more wind as well. It rained on us for about three holes, but it was still tough out there.

“I drove the ball well again today and that was big,” Long said. “The key was I made some tough two-putts for pars, a couple from 5 and 6 feet.”

Rohanna, who completed his college eligibility at Penn State in 2008, had good reason to be smiling after his third-round 65. Last year he was in the hunt after opening rounds of 63-70. But he closed with 73-74 and tied for 16th.

“After what happened last year, it feels great to get in a good third round and especially be in a good position to win the tournament,” Rohanna said. “Now I just need to come out tomorrow and close it out.”

Rohanna birdied the third hole, but three-putted the ninth from 35 feet for his lone bogey of the day. But he came back and birdied 11, 13 and 15 and ended by sinking a 20-foot birdie putt at 18.

“It was a good day,” he said. “I hit it good and putted well. I was able to keep the ball in the fairway and I made a couple of 15-footers and a 20-footer.”

The Wannamoisett course, softened by the recent rains which have slowed the greens and made them a welcoming site for approach shots, continued to attract red numbers. While fewer than the 33 under-par scores posted Thursday, the third round saw 25 players shoot under par for the day. All total, 25 players are under par through three rounds.

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