Corey Long calls it “boring golf.”
The South Fayette senior hits long, accurate drives that find the fairway, then sends his approach shots into the green, where he either drops a putt for a birdie or two putts for par.
Maybe it is to Long.
But that style of play made him the WPIAL Class AAA golf champion Wednesday at Diamond Run Golf Club in Sewickley.
Long won a four-hole playoff against Matt Holuta of Indiana by playing steady golf and was one of 14 players to advance to the PIAA West Region tournament Oct. 16 at Tom’s Run Golf Course in Blairsville. He shot 3-under-par 67 over the par-70, 6,591-yard course.
“I wasn’t thinking about my score,” said Long. “I was just going shot-to-shot.”
Long and Holuta each bogeyed the first playoff hole, the par-4, 391-yard No. 1, and parred the next two, the par-3, 143-yard No. 2 and par-5, 582-yard No. 3. The par-4 fourth hole decided the match when Holuta sent his approach into the water guarding the front of the green. Long two-putted for bogey and Holuta ran his long putt for bogey past the hole.
“It was my best round of the year,” Long said. “It was also my lowest round.”
It might have been the most satisfying, too. Long failed to qualify for the regional last year but made sure that would not happen again. Long strung 14 straight pars with three birdies and the one bogey.
“His goal was to make it through,” said South Fayette coach Robert Ruffolo. “I could just see it on his face when he went 1-under. I am so happy for him. I know coaches say their kids are hard workers, but Corey is one of the hardest-working kids I’ve ever seen. He practices every single day.”
Upper St. Clair’s Thomas Steve, who shot 29 in a regular-season round last month, was third after a 2-under 68.