Dave DeLong wasn't playing in the last group of the Romain Buick Senior City Golf Championship Sunday at Helfrich Hills when he got their attention on the 15th tee. First-round leader Dave Bates had just moved back into what he thought was the lead with a routine par on the 14th as Jim Crumbaker bogeyed. Crumbaker had parred the first 12 holes Sunday to ease into the apparent lead before bogeying two straight. That gave Bates the chance to steady himself at 1-under after his first-round 6-under, 66 Saturday at McDonald. He was starting to feel better when word arrived about DeLong. The former two-time winner shot 75 Saturday when he triple-bogeyed the final hole, but played Helfrich 10 strokes better eight groups ahead of the leaders. He was in the clubhouse at 3-under. "How could he play that well without a sign?" said Bates with a laugh at 15. "Are you sure?" Bates, who was referring to the leaderboards carried for the four lead groups, was suddenly behind by two strokes. He knew he needed birdies. "I tried to drive the green at No. 15," he said, "but blocked it out a little. But I hit a decent approach and made the putt (for birdie). I knew I still had a chance." It didn't last long, though. He missed the green at 16 and bogeyed and then failed to birdie 17. When his approach to the 18th green from the fairway didn't find the bottom of the cup, DeLong couldn't be caught. "That was such a shock when we heard about (DeLong's 65) on 15 tee," said Bates. "I was paying attention to all the signs and knew none of those guys were in it except our group (Crumbaker and Tony Hill, who would finish third and fourth, respectively). That was tough." DeLong was surprised as anybody after his round Saturday. "Actually, I hit the ball about the same both days," said DeLong. "Without the triple bogey on the last hole (when he bladed a sand shot) I was right there. I just didn't make a putt." So he called a friend, Rick Hankins, because he's a fine putter and DeLong respects his advice. They talked mechanics, a possible putter change. When DeLong got to the golf course on Sunday, putting was still a mystery. First he tried a long putter with no results. Next out was a two-ball (putter), but that didn't work, either. "Five minutes before I was supposed to tee off, I got out the Ping I used Saturday and went with a new grip," said DeLong, holding up his hands in a bizarre tangle. "It's the claw. I never putted like that in my life. "I never did feel comfortable over the ball, but it felt better than anything else. I still didn't make a putt longer than 10 feet." But he made five-footers for birdie at holes number 1 and 5 for a 33 on the front nine, and then he came home with birdies on holes 11, 14, 16 and 18 on the back nine for a score of 32. There were no bogeys. The longest putt was a 10-footer on the par-5 11th. "I didn't do anything special," he said. "I just kept it in front of me and then, when I got on the green, I didn't move my head and I kept my eye on the ball until it went in the hole. I must've been moving my head on Saturday." The only heads that moved on Sunday were those turning to watch DeLong vault himself over almost the entire field into his third Senior City title. His other wins were in 2003 and 2004. Joe Hahn, who won in 2005, and Paul Gentry had won the previous two years. "It's a little frustrating," said Bates. "I hit it so pure Saturday and then today I just never had any timing. But there's one thing I'm definitely proud of, that red number (his 1-under 142 total)." DeLong's 3-under, 140 was a testament to his never-give-up mentality — even after starting the day nine shots behind the leader. "My thought when I started was that if I could get it to even-par, I might have a chance," said DeLong. "When I clawed it to 3-under, I knew winning was a possibility."