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California Teen Becomes One of Golf's Longest Hitters
When it comes to making a golf ball disappear into the distance, 16-year-old Domenic Mazza is a natural. The teenager from Concord, Calif., a suburb of San Francisco, recently became one of the world's top-rated drivers at the 2010 Re/Max World Long Drive Championship in Mesquite, Nev.
Mazza, by far the youngest competitor to ever qualify for the 144-man field at the finals, drove to a second-place finish at the annual gathering of the world's longest-hitting golfers in the world. Battling his way through a field of competitors that included five-time world champion Jason Zuback and back-to-back and defending champion Jamie Sadlowski, Mazza was cool, calm and collected all the way through the event leading into the finals on ESPN.
It was a pretty easy road to the finals (which air Christmas Day) for Mazza. Starting when he was 15 years old in July, Mazza always thought he could hit a golf ball a long way. So he decided to try a local qualifier for the World Championships. He cruised through the local qualifier in Pleasanton, Calif. His next competition was the regional qualifier in Mesquite, Nev., in August. Mazza made quick work there, advancing to the World Championships with a bomb of 436 yards.
"Domenic is truly a diamond in the rough when it comes to the sport of Long Drive," said Lance Reader, president of his sponsoring company, Krank Golf. "He came out of nowhere this season and turned heads every time he hit a golf ball. It was a pleasure watching him hit our Rage Driver at Worlds. Dominic is one of the greatest stories to ever come out of the ReMax World Long Drive Championships."
Domenic's hand-speed shouldn't surprise many people. On the Clayton Valley High School baseball team he's a hard-throwing left-handed pitcher with a fastball that nears 90 mph. He throws a baseball left-handed and swings his Krank Golf RAGE driver right-handed in excess of 145 mph. This phenomenon is known as being double-hinged. Two-time Re/Max World Long Drive champion Sadlowski plays hockey and hits a 100-mph slap shot left-handed, and is one of the longest golfers in the world as a right-hander.
Art Sellinger, president and CEO of the Long Drivers of America, praised the young bomber. "Dominic Mazza was like watching 'The Natural' swing the bat at the plate. He is fortunate to have been given an amazing gift of creating speed and he can hit the ball consistently solid under pressure," said Sellinger.
"He's a pure athlete that has no swing thoughts, you simply can't teach that. Champions are getting younger and younger, but for a 16-year-old to get to the final match, that's simply amazing."
Joe Miller from London, England, also hitting the Krank Golf RAGE Driver, won the Re/Max World Long Drive Championship in the Open division with a blast of 414 yards in the finals against Mazza, earning $150,000. Domenic, who declared himself an amateur before the tournament to retain his spot on the baseball team and amateur golf status, turned down the $70,000 for second place.
For more information about the Long Drive Championship, visit http://longdrivers.com/remax.php.
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