It might just take the rest of the season to produce a better local match than the one in the final today of the MasterCard Long Island PGA Championship.

         In the longest match of the tournament, and the most compelling, Bill Van Orman, the teaching pro at the Meadow Brook Club, defeated Bob Rittberger, head pro at Garden City Golf Club, in 22 holes.

          Each of the golfers made dazzling par saves down the stretch in regulation. Rittberger was especially hot on the slick greens at Glen Head Country Club, making four tough par putts in a five-hole stretch of the back nine in regulation. But he admittedly focused more on the difficult line than the speed of his 30-foot birdie putt on No. 18 and missed the six-footer coming back to force extra holes.

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         Van Orman, in his first year on Long Island after 20 years at clubs in Westchester (including the past six at Winged Foot), clinched with a par on the par-3 fourth, the second time around. He won the first-place check of $4,500.

           He did it only five months after a second hip replacement surgery.