ORLANDO, Fla. -- Tiger, Phil and Rory aren’t on this leaderboard. Instead it’s names like Joe, Jamie and Aaron, and they are the rock stars of their sport who swing a golf club more than 150 miles per hour and crush drives more than 400 yards.
On Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel, eight of the longest drivers in the world will face off in a $250,000 winner-take-all competition in Las Vegas to determine who will win the RE/MAX WORLD LONG DRIVE CHAMPIONSHIP finals.
"The finale of many long months of qualifying will play out Wednesday night under the lights on live television with eight of the longest hitters in the world going head to head for the title of world champion," said Keith Allo, Vice President of Programming and Original Productions, Golf Channel. "There's a lot on the line for these competitors who have put in the hours to try and make their mark, so they should put on a great show."
The two-hour, live finale on Golf Channel will take place under the lights on a one-of-a-kind venue built for speed at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The pumped-up finalists will hit from a custom-made platform built into the speedway’s grandstands, which will be surrounded by thousands of spirited fans. The competitors will hit their drives on to a Championship grid on the race track infield below, creating a visual feast for television viewers.
Golf Channel’s broadcast team will include Bob Papa, who will serve as the telecast’s play-by-play voice; Michael Breed, host of THE GOLF FIX on Golf Channel, who will offer analysis and share some of the swing science behind the long drive; and MORNING DRIVE Co-Host Holly Sonders, who will handle interviews with the competitors. Art Sellinger, long-drive pioneer, two-time national long-drive champion and Long Drivers of America Chief Executive Officer, also will be on hand to provide long drive analysis.
"The Las Vegas Motor Speedway routinely says ‘Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.’ On Wednesday, the longest hitters will take the stage and produce ball speeds over 220mph,” said Sellinger. “Eight hitters remain to stake their claim to the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship title and the $250k first place prize. Long Drivers of America is proud to call Golf Channel the home of the longest hitters in the game.”
Starting with 192 hopefuls in the Open Division, local and regional qualifying has narrowed the field to eight finalists who will be competing to take home the championship belt. Members of “The October 8” competing for the title of 2013 RE/MAX World Long Drive Champion are:
Matt Hanger, Anaheim, Calif.
Patrick Hopper, Columbia, S.C.
Will Hogue, Collierville, Tenn.
Tyler Kellett, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Aaron Mansfield, Washington, Pa.
Joe Miller, London, England
Jamie Sadlowski, St. Paul, Alberta, Canada
Tim Burke, Orlando, Fla.
Miller (2010) and Sadlowski (2008, 2009) are returning former champions. Sadlowski made headlines recently when he broke Golf Channel's golf simulator with a massive drive that pierced the projection screen and its protective net. And he did it again months later with a 7-iron. Sadlowski also hit the longest drive ever recorded to win the RE/MAX WORLD LONG DRIVE CHAMPIONSHIP with a strike of 418 yards in 2008.
In October 2012, Long Drivers of America announced a new, three-year broadcast partnership with Golf Channel, which moved the RE/MAX WORLD LONG DRIVE CHAMPIONSHIP to the network after 17 years on ESPN. This annual world championship of long driving has taken place each year since 1975 and attracts competitors from all over the world. Participation in competitions has nearly tripled and prize money has increased five-fold. Finalists in the competition often have swing speeds of up to 150 miles per hour and can hit the ball more than 400 yards, which is more than 100 yards longer than the average PGA TOUR professional.
About Long Drivers of America:
Long Drivers of America is a dynamic golf event company that specializes in producing events for long drive professionals. The company is owned and operated by long drive pioneer Art Sellinger. Founded in 1995 and based in Roanoke, Texas, LDA is best known for staging the annual RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship, the premier event in power golf. For more information visit www.longdrivers.com.
About Golf Channel:
Golf Channel is a multimedia, golf entertainment and services company based in Orlando, Fla. Golf Channel, co-founded by Arnold Palmer in 1995 and now part of the NBC Sports Group, is available in more than 120 million homes and 83 countries worldwide. Exclusive partnerships with the world’s top tours allow Golf Channel to feature more live golf coverage than all other networks combined, as well as a programming schedule distinguished by golf’s highest-quality news, instruction and original programming. Customers of participating cable, satellite, telco and other video subscription services, are able to enjoy 24/7 streaming of live Golf Channel content through GolfChannel.com and Golf Channel’s mobile application, Golf Live Extra. Golf Channel’s digital platforms are the leading golf destinations on the Internet, delivering unmatched coverage of the world of golf, as well as services that connect the world to golf.
ABOUT THE LVCVA:
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) is charged with marketing Southern Nevada as a tourism and convention destination worldwide, and also with operating the Las Vegas Convention Center and Cashman Center. With more than 150,000 hotel rooms in Las Vegas alone and 10.8 million square feet of meeting and exhibit space citywide, the LVCVA's mission centers on attracting ever-increasing numbers of leisure and business visitors to the area. For more information, go to LVCVA.com or LasVegas.com.
Golf Channel Communications