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September 13, 2011

Long-drive champ Sadlowski to make first Nationwide start

Posted at 5:15 PM by Cameron Morfit | Categories: Jamie Sadlowski, Nationwide Tour

Sadlowski_Boise BOISE, Idaho -– It's hardly unusual for Jamie Sadlowski to captivate fans with his astonishingly long tee shots at a PGA or Nationwide tour event, as he has at the Albertsons Boise Open this week.

What's unprecedented is the two-time Re/Max World Long Drive champion, who played in a skins game against John Daly on Monday, and who was scheduled to put on a clinic at 5 p.m. Tuesday, will stick around to play in the Nationwide tournament itself -- his first start in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event.

"It'll be interesting," said Sadlowski, whose firepower is such that he can't hit driver on some of the shorter par 4s at Boise's Hillcrest C.C. "I haven't really played competitive golf since I was 16."

Sadlowski's high-end clubhead spead is 148 mph, and his peak ball velocity is 215 mph. He drove the green on Hillcrest's 359-yard, par-4 10th hole Monday -- with a 14-degree hybrid. Daly, who'd never seen him up-close, was flabbergasted. A portion of the Boise State marching band played as they teed off.

Sadlowski made $7,750 for the Treasure Valley YMCA in the skins game. Daly won $17,250 for the Boise State men's and women's golf teams. (Daly, 45, will also play in the tournament.) Sadlowski played nine holes with Jason Gore early Tuesday, and after lunch worked on his putting stroke. He's been so busy, he said, he hasn't had much time to practice for this week. Other than a few games at Whisper Rock, the club he belongs to in Scottsdale, Ariz., he hasn't played much regular golf at all.

"I've done 40 outings already this year," he said. "We've had to turn work down. It's been crazy."

Dennis "The Chief" Paulson, the 1985 long-drive champion, is the last man to transition from long-driving to a career on the PGA Tour. Sadlowski has said he hopes to break Jason "Golfzilla" Zuback's record of five Re/Max titles before potentially moving on to regular competitive golf. After his last day in Boise on Friday, or Sunday if he makes the cut, Sadlowski, who is Canadian, plans to put away the clubs and spend at least two weeks at his new home in St. Paul, Alberta.

He won't have much down time. The 2011 Re/Max in Mesquite, Nev., is Nov. 4, and Sadlowski has something to prove. He lost in the semifinals last year.

Video: Sadlowski puts on a show | Meet Sadlowski | Swing sequence

(Photo: Courtesy of Albertsons Boise Open)

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