20160626_184357For the 18th consecutive year, Rhode Island golf pros Billy Andrade and Brad Faxon have hosted one of New England’s most popular golf tournaments. Rhode Island Country Club was the place to be as golf professionals from all three tours played in the CVS Health Charity Classic, a tournament that has raised over 20 million dollars for local charities.

Some of golf’s greatest stars like Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Annika Sorenstam and Nick Price have answered the call to come participate in the CVS Health Charity Classic thrilling local golf fans and helping Rhode Island community organizations continue their fine work.

Billy Andrade and Brad Faxon have enjoyed playing on their home turf, but neither has won the tournament. But after the first round of play was complete Andrade and Bill Hass, who is the son of Champion’s Tour golfer Jay Hass, combined for a score of 9 under par 62 tying Bryson DeChambeau and Lexi Thompson for the lead.

It seemed like the winless streak for the local guys would finally be broken when Andrade and Hass completed the tournament with a very respectful two day total of 18 under par. But Jon Curran and Keegan Bradly, also finished at 18 under par to force a playoff. The duo of Bradley and Curran had won the CVS Classic in 2015, and they kept the trophy this year when Bradley sunk a 6 foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole.

There was a great field at this year’s tournament including players like Paula Creamer, Louis Oosthuizen, and Lexi Thompson, but it was Jamie Sadlowski that drew the largest galleries. Sadlowski is the two-time long drive champ. In competition he has hit drives an astonishing 435 yards. I spoke to him when he completed his pro-am round.

N.E.G.M. : When you play in Pro-Ams do you ever get tired of your partners asking you to crush a couple of 400 yard drives ?
J.S.: Oh yes. I played two Pro-Ams today and hit the driver 25 times. They still wanted to see more.
N.E.G.M : Are they asking for tips on how to hit the long bs. : On every hole. I tell them the key is to be loose. Relax your arms and concentrate on keeping your balance and make an easy and full turn.
N.E.G.M. What happens then?
J.S. : They swing like mad and top the ball.
N.E.G.M. : Are you going to try to qualify for the British Open ?
J.S.: No I have a lot of corporate events scheduled and then I am going to give Q school a shot.
N.E.G.M.: Any advice for our readers ?
J.S.: The equipment makes it easy for everybody to get extra distance. Before you hit the first tee take some swings with your feet close together. If you can hit a ball with your feet touching and maintain your balance you have good tempo. Hit your driver with that same easy tempo and you will be amazed at how many more yards you can pick up.