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Where Have You Gone Rory Sabbatini?

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It was just a few months ago that Rory Sabbatini put his foot in his mouth claiming Tiger Woods was "as beatable as ever."

Well Rory has found a way to get on Tiger Woods’s last nerve yet again. How’d he do it? By skipping out on the last round of the Target World Challenge citing "personal reasons" at first, a story which his agent has now changed to "shin splints." Sabbatini was in last place going into the final round of the tournament after rounds of 81 and 76, but packed up his locker yesterday. Sabbatini will still collect his $170,000 last place check despite not finishing the tournament. When asked about the situation, Tiger Woods said, "A lot of different things going on, and I’d like to try and get to the bottom of it when I’m done here, and we’ll see what happens." Regardless of what his reasons might have been, Sabbatini’s move was questioned by many players in the field, Mark Calcavecchia said, "I think I could have toughed it out one more round. I don’t think the fans missed him."

Bud Martin, Sabbatini’s agent told the media, "He had shin splints that were bothering him yesterday. He went home overnight and worked on them with his trainer, and they weren’t getting any better. He said he wasn’t going to risk it." Fred Couples in particular was especially critical of Sabbatini. When told about his withdrawal, Couples likened the story to Roger Clemens’s denial of the accusations in the Mitchell Report and said, "He should give [his check] back to the foundation."

Sabbatini has an uncanny knack for doing or saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Looming like a dark cloud over his four PGA Tour victories, Sabbatini’s actions have a rather distasteful history. When the name Sabbatini comes to mind, it is linked to the memory of him storming off the 17th green while Ben Crane had not yet even hit his approach at the 2005 Booze Allen Classic. Despite the harsh criticism he drew from that incident, Rory continued to protest, utilizing his wife who would occasionally don a shirt with "Keep Up" in bold lettering. Sabbatini reasoned the protest saying, "There are some players who could certainly use some help with their pace of play." However, there surely are more tactful and civil ways to express the same message.

Yet, that has never quite been Sabbatini’s style. Earlier this year he ignited a storm of controversy by calling Tiger Woods "the most beatable he’s ever been," at the Wachovia Championship. Woods went on to beat Sabbatini at the Wachovia and again at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational. Whether Sabbatini makes these comments out of frustration, or simply to seek a reaction, his antics are increasingly non-professional considering his inability to back up his brash statements.

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10 Comments

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  1. Dan

    Dec 20, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    The (supposed) lion that roryed like a mouse, and as far as I’m concerned he is just that a little mouse, who should give back his unearned cheese to the Tiger Foundation.
    Good bye to this bad mouthed, ill mannered, disrespectful, _ _ _ hole !

  2. chris carroll

    Dec 20, 2007 at 12:40 pm

    I feel that rory needs to grow up because this is a game of ettiquete, sorry if I mispelled that, and the way he acts is rediculous. I also liked it how Tiger stuck it to him at the wachovia after he ran his mouth.

  3. Alan

    Dec 19, 2007 at 6:49 pm

    I used to like the guy. I thought a “personality-not a clone.” Now I realize he is a clown, not clone. WD without good reason, assuming he doesn’t return the check, well I no longer care for the clown.

    Good riddance.

  4. Hal Hintze

    Dec 18, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    Rory Sabbatini is living proof that in order to attend Q School one need not complete IQ School.

  5. Jason Michaels

    Dec 18, 2007 at 8:58 pm

    I am speechless… There is no excuse for this.
    Hey Bud Martin please ask poor old Rory a question for us!

    If he was in 1st place going into the final round do you think he could have toughed it out then?

    Rory! this game is not for you…

  6. Dion Keyser

    Dec 18, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    As a fellow South African I am embarrassed to be associated with him, although he does speak with an American accent these days so if you want you can have him (please)

  7. axel foley

    Dec 17, 2007 at 11:09 pm

    He’s been a miserable twit all his life, so who is surprised when he disrespects the game of golf and its greatest player by his latest stunt. Hopefully, Nike will weigh its options with one of the few bad apples in golf, and hit him where it hurts most. Golfers, being independent contractors, usually only have themselves to answer to, but the boos that he’ll hear from this early next year (cant wait to see Phoenix) could finally begin showing up on his bottom line. The jerk of the world deserves it

  8. bigwhipper

    Dec 17, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    Sabbatini = when great talent happens to bad people

  9. B Miller

    Dec 17, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    There is a Santa Claus after all. It’s not enough for me that Tiger wins: Sabbatini must fail!

  10. Rob

    Dec 17, 2007 at 8:47 am

    I used to like Sabbatini, but his withdrawal from the Target is inexcusable. I think he should at least donate the paycheque back to the charity.

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Tour Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2022 PGA Championship

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GolfWRX was on site in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at Southern Hills for the second major of the season. The centerpiece of the exhibit, of course, is a fresh in-hand look at Tiger Woods’ WITB — including shots of his new long irons. However, don’t miss the 30 other WITBs as well as an assortment of general and pullout galleries aplenty.

Check out links to all our PGA Championship photos, below.

General Albums

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‘You have to earn it’ – Tiger shows no sympathy for Mickelson while firmly backing PGA Tour

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The defending champion, Phil Mickelson, may not be at Southern Hills this week for the PGA Championship, but Tiger Woods is making his second start of the year at a venue he has had success at in the past.

The 2007 champion hasn’t teed it up since last month’s Masters tournament, where he finished 47th. A month on, however, Woods has claimed that he is feeling stronger as he goes in search of a fifth PGA Championship.

While Woods gets ready to compete again, his old rival Phil Mickelson continues his absence from the sport. Lefty took a leave from golf earlier this year after suffering severe backlash for his controversial comments on the Saudi Golf League, the Saudi regime and how he was using the Tour as leverage against the PGA Tour.

Speaking to media on Tuesday, Woods revealed that he and Mickelson had very different views on where the game of golf is going, while launching a staunch defence of the PGA Tour.

“He has his opinion on where he sees the game of golf going,” said Woods of Mickelson. “I have my viewpoint how I see the game of golf. I’ve supported the Tour and my foundation has run events on the Tour for a number of years. I just think that what Jack (Nicklaus) and Arnold (Palmer) have done in starting the Tour, breaking away from the PGA of America and creating our tour in 1968 … I just think there’s a legacy to that. I’ve been playing out here for a couple of decades and I think there’s a legacy do it.”

“I still think the Tour has so much to offer, so much opportunity,” said Woods. “I understand different viewpoints, but I believe in legacies, I believe in major championships and big events, comparisons to historical figures of the past. There is plenty of money out there. The Tour is growing – like any other sport, like tennis, you have to go out there and earn it.”

Interestingly, Woods pinpointed social media as one of the reasons the controversy escalated as quickly as it did surrounding Mickelson:

“Social media has changed the landscape in how fast things can ramp up, whether it is real news or fake news or whatever it is, opinions get out there instantly,” said Woods. “It can sway very quickly one way or the other – what we are seeing right now in society is it is very bipolar, there is no middle ground, you stand one way or the other. It is very polarising and the viewpoints Phil has made with the Tour and what the Tour has meant to all of us has been polarising as well.”

Despite saying that it was disappointing that Mickelson would not be defending this week, Tiger has not reached out to Phil during his exile from professional golf. The reason for that decision is due to Tiger’s entirely different viewpoint on how the Tour should be run.

“I have not reached out to him, I have not spoken to him. A lot of it has not to do with personal issues, it is viewpoints of how the Tour should be run and could be run and what players are playing for and how we are playing for it. I have a completely different stance on that.”

Tiger will tee it up at Southern Hills alongside Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth for the opening two days of the PGA Championship.

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Rickie Fowler not made up his mind yet on ‘interesting’ LIV Golf Series

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In the past month, we’ve seen a handful of aging veterans reportedly apply for a release to play in the LIV Golf Series including Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer, and others.

To this point, all of the younger stars in golf have pledged their allegiance to the PGA Tour. Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Tiger Woods, and Collin Morikawa have all spoken publicly about having no interest in the Greg Norman led Golf Series.

This week, Rickie Fowler had the chance to join them in speaking out in support of staying on Tour, but instead kept his cards close to his chest

When asked about whether or not he is considering joining the LIV Golf Series, he said “It’s an interesting position”.

When he was asked about whether or not he’s been invited to play in the series during a pre-tournament media session at Southern Hills, Fowler admitted that he had.

“To be straightforward with you guys, I haven’t necessarily made a decision one way or the other,’’ Fowler said. “I’ve mentioned in the past, do I currently think the PGA Tour is the best place to play? I do. Do think it can be better? Yes.”

“So I think it’s an interesting position. Obviously there’s the LIV and the Premier (Golf League), as well. These tours or leagues, however you want to classify or call them, they wouldn’t really be coming up if they didn’t see that there was more opportunity out there. I’ve always looked at competition being a good thing. It’s the driving force of our game.

“Being with guys at home, that’s how I always grew up is competing. I think competition ultimately makes people better, whether it’s business, sport. So it’s interesting, that’s for sure.’’

Fowler has struggled in recent years, and has dropped to 146th in the world rankings.

 

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