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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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  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 2024 U.S. Open

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GolfWRX is live this week from the third major of the season: the U.S. Open at historic Pinehurst No. 2.

Qualifier WITBs are the stars the the show so far — along with in-hand looks at what Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau are playing.

Check back throughout the week as we continue to add more galleries.  

General Albums

WITB Albums

Pullout Albums

See what GolfWRXers are saying about the photos from the U.S. Open in the forums. 

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Morning 9: Scott, Garcia in for U.S. Open | Clark: Greens already borderline | Harrington inducted to HOF

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By Ben Alberstadt with Gianni Magliocco.

For comments: [email protected]

Good Tuesday morning, golf fans, as we look ahead to what is sure to be an exciting U.S. Open!

1. USO field additions

Brian DePasquale for the USGA…”Two additional players, including Adam Scott, have earned full exemptions into the 124th U.S. Open Championship…Additionally, four alternates from final qualifying were added to complete the 156-player field.”

  • “Robert MacIntyre earned an exemption based on the current Official World Golf Ranking®/OWGR®…”
  • “Scott, who is No. 61 in the OWGR, became exempt when the late Grayson Murray (No. 59) was removed from the list for purposes of determining the top 60. Scott will compete in his 23rd consecutive U.S. Open…”
  • “The USGA held six spots in the field for those players who could potentially become exempt. Since MacIntyre and Scott were the only players to earn an exemption, four alternates from final qualifying were added to the field. They are Sergio Garcia, amateur Brendan Valdes, Otto Black and Maxwell Moldovan.”
Full piece.

2. Charlie on hand to assist dad with U.S. Open prep

Justin Tasch for the NY Post…”Tiger Woods was all smiles Monday morning in Pinehurst as he practiced for this week’s U.S. Open with his 15-year-old son, Charlie.”

  • “Charlie helped his dad prepare as they traversed Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina, where Woods is set to tee off Thursday for the first time since missing the cut at last month’s PGA Championship in Louisville.”
  • “The father-son duo was spotted at various points Monday morning with Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler.”
Full piece.

3. Clark says U.S. Open greens already ‘borderline’

Elliott Heath for Golf Monthly…”Defending US Open champion Wyndham Clark says that this week’s greens at Pinehurst No.2 “already are borderline” ahead of what is set to be a stern test of golf at the USA’s 124th national open.”

  • “Clark won his maiden Major title at LACC last year, where he pipped Rory McIlroy by a single stroke. He won his third PGA Tour title at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am earlier this year and moved up to a career-high of 3rd in the world.”
  • “The greens are extremely fast and penal. You hit it on the green, the hole is not done. I was just amazed how fast the greens are. Yeah, I mean, they are extremely fast. If they get any firmer and faster, the greens, I mean, they’d be borderline. They already are borderline,” Clark said on Pinehurst’s famously undulating putting surfaces, before admitting that sometimes it’s better to miss a green in the right spot than hit it in the wrong position.”
Full piece.

4. Harrington reflects ahead of HOF induction

PGATOUR.COM: What comes to mind as you prepare for your induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame and reflect on your career?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: When you’re winning, when you’re going through it, you kind of expect that it’s going to continue to happen so you don’t get too caught up in it. You tend to just get on with it. You’re always thinking about the next win. Whereas at this time in my career and with the Hall of Fame looming, it is very much time to take stock and have a nice reflection on what I’ve done. And it’s very satisfying.

PGATOUR.COM: What is the source of that satisfaction?

HARRINGTON: Well, I think I’ve always felt I’ve far exceeded my own expectations. But when you get to the Hall of Fame, you realize that actually you’ve achieved on a whole different level. There’s not that many golfers that get into it. You don’t get into the Hall of Fame for anything but your performances. That’s it. This is an opportunity to look back and say, ‘You know what? You did well.’

PGATOUR.COM: You’ve said before that you weren’t the guy who looked destined to be great. What was your secret to getting the most out of your talents?

HARRINGTON: I was always somebody who just did it, got it done.

Full piece.

5. More bad news for Hataoka

Golf Channel staff…”After being disqualified from last week’s ShopRite LPGA Classic, Nasa Hataoka has slipped from Japan’s final qualifying spot for the Olympic women’s golf event.”

  • “Ayaka Furue now holds Japan’s second of two currently available positions. Furue tied for second this past week to move to 19th in the latest Rolex Rankings. Hataoka dropped to 20th.”
  • “Hataoka opened in 65 at the ShopRite but was DQ’d ahead of Saturday’s second round when officials determined that she took too long to find a lost ball on Friday, and subsequently, played her next shot from the wrong spot.”
Full Piece.

6. Weather ahead at Pinehurst

PGATour.com staff report…

  • Thursday: Low chance of rain beginning in the afternoon with increased temperatures in the evening. Low: 68F, High: 90F. Winds: 4-10 mph, gusting at 15 mph.
  • Friday: Rising temperatures and scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon, 40% chance of showers. Low: 68F, High: 92F. Winds: 4-10 mph, gusting at 15 mph.
  • Saturday: Rising temperatures and scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon, 40% chance of showers. Low: 68F, High: 92F. Winds: 4-8 mph, gusting at 12 mph.
  • Sunday: Heat expected throughout the day with 20% chance of showers. Low: 68F, High: 92F. Winds: 4-10 mph, gusting at 15 mph.
Full Piece.

7. Ortiz: I deserve to be at U.S. Open

Joel Kulasingham for Golf Monthly…”Carlos Ortiz says he deserves to be teeing off at this week’s US Open, despite failing to qualify for the tournament at Pinehurst No.2.”

  • “The 33-year-old Mexican claimed his first LIV Golf victory in Houston on Sunday thanks to a five-under final round to hang on to a one-shot win over Adrian Meronk, who missed a birdie on his last hole to miss a playoff.
  • “The world No.237 still had a chance to get into the tournament through US Open qualifying in Dallas three weeks ago, but a double bogey on the final hole scuppered any hopes of joining the 13 other LIV players teeing it up in Pinehurst on Thursday.
  • “I’ve been playing great. It’s a shame I doubled the last hole to miss the qualifier. It hurt a lot,” Ortiz admitted.
  • “But despite not doing enough in qualifying, Ortiz – like many of his LIV colleagues – lamented the current state of professional golf, and says he deserves to be playing at the US Open as “one of the best players in the world right now”.
  • “I think with time, we’re going to get back into the Majors because I know that I’m one of the best players in the world right now, and I deserve to be there. But the way things are happening right now, it’s kind of hard.”
Full Piece.

8. Carnage on the way?

9. U.S. Open photos

  • Check out all of our galleries from this week’s major event!
Full Piece.
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Tour Rundown: Full hand for Scottie | Where’d that Strom come from?

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The week prior to a major championship is typically replete with anticipation … for the coming event. Not so for the first full week of June, 2024. Golfers gathered to pay homage to history’s greatest major champion, to Wisconsin’s greatest champion, and to each other. The DP World Tour held its annual, no-gender championship in Sweden, while the LPGA traveled to coastal New Jersey for an old-school face-off. If you held a pair of Linn’s in your hand this weekend, you hit the jackpot. If none of that seems to connect, don’t worry. We have the pen, so here go the dots, in this week’s Tour Rundown.

PGA Tour @ he Memorial: Full hand for Scottie

What do they say about scar tissue? The more you lose to a certain player, the more difficult it is to beat that player. Scar tissue is building up across the PGA Tour, thanks to the wizardry of the young Texan, Scottie Scheffler. We’ll reserve judgment until after Pinehurst, but as things currently stand, all that can stop his caravan of triumph is a misunderstanding.

I recall when our son used to play fullback in soccer. He often let opposing players get past him, for the sheer joy of chasing them down. Scottie Scheffler may not have that odd move in his gameplay, but he doesn’t run away with tournaments. He usually finds a way to let golfers back in, although I suspect he does not do so with purpose. At the Memorial, Scheffler held a four-shot advantage through 54 holes, but he didn’t run off on Sunday and leave the opposition playing for second. His play on Sunday was more survival than celebrity, and he nearly went to a playoff.

Collin Morikawa fought bravely back, but didn’t have the requisite skills to break through the scar tissue. Morikawa has been in the mix a few times this season and has yet to find a way to come homeward with his best game. The same happened again on Sunday. As Scheffler played the final twelve holes in two-over par, Morikawa gained five shots on the leader, only to give a crucial one back on 17. Muirfield Village has become a 1970s-throwback course of late, adding length and super-thick rough as protection. As a result, the excitement comes from bogey avoidance down the stretch. Collin was close, but Scheffler found victory number five on the year, in the nick of time.

LPGA @ ShopRite: Where’d that Strom come from?

Forgive the pundits if they transpose the “s” and the “r” for an easy headline. A storm called Strom blew in off the Atlantic and took over the Wilson/Ross course at Seaview Resort. Linnea Strom did just about everything right on Sunday. She posted nine birdies and one eagle (coming at the par-5 ninth hole) and ignored the prospect of bogey or worse, throughout the entirety of the round. Her win came by a single shot, with a quintet of golfers passing through astonishment, to gob-smackery, to outright dumbfoundment.

Imagine being any one of the following: Ayaka Furue @ 65; Megan Kang @ 66; Atthaya Thitikul @ 65; Morgane Metraux @ 66; or home-state girls Marina Alex @ 64. That fivesome played as well as they might have hoped, yet none was able to wrest the tournament’s trophy from the unlikely hands of Linnea Strom. Inconceivably, the victory was her first on the LPGA circuit. What a way to get the job done.

DP World Tour @ Scandinavian Mixed: Linn’s request is Grant-ed

Low-hanging fruit is what they call that headline. Linn Grant went into Sunday with eyes set on a nice finish to a nice week. The Scandinavian Mixed pits all genders in one field, and has seen some terrific wins by women and men, during its brief history. Sebastian Soderberg had the tournament wrapped up on Saturday. Somehow, on day four, the bow dissolved and Soderberg melted to a score of 77. Keep in mind that he had posted 63-66-66 over the first 54 holes. Golf is baffling.

Linn Grant went out on day four and ran off four birdies for 31 on the front side. She kept her head coming home, added two more for 65 and a total of 17-under par. She edged past Calum Hill, who closed with 69 for minus-16. All of that should have been pleasantry, except for the goings-on in the final pairing. Soderberg was never on his game over the course of the final day. He had a pair of birdies, but more than his share of bogies. On the final hole, from the middle of the fairway, he missed the green in the right side bunker, then splashed to 24 feet. His putt for the outright win missed by 15 inches. His putt for the playoff missed by one inch. In the blink of an eye, a careless close had awarded the trophy to Grant.

Tour Champions @ American Family: Big ChEasy in Wisconsin

Ernie Els really had no shot on Sunday in Madison. Steve Stricker was at home, comfortable, and trending. The former Ryder Cup captain was three-under on the day through 13, two ahead of Els, closing the deal. When Els made a third consecutive birdie at 14, Stricker posted bogey. In a moment’s hesitation, the game was afoot. Each added one more birdie coming home, and finished in a tie at minus-twelve, three clear of Cameron Percy.

There would be another, moment’s hesitation, and it would spell the unimaginable end of the home-state lad. After Els tapped in for par on the first playoff hole, Stricker addressed a wee, three-feet putt to match … and missed. A stunned Els was a winner for a second consecutive week, and his affection for the American midwest grew large.

Korn Ferry Tour @ BMW Championship: Gerard goes off

Ryan Gerard had compiled a sizable lead through 54 holes in the Palmetto state of South Carolina. With, or despite, the knowledge that his inspirational father was en route to the tournament site, Gerard remained focused and closed in proper fashion. He posted 66 on day four, and finished off a six-shot triumph over Seth Reeves. The win was Gerard’s first, important professional victory, and closed a circle of father-son-golf.

There was never a time at the Thornblade Club, that Gerard seemed anywhere other than in charge and control. He began the week with 64, followed with 66, then ignited on Saturday with 63. Knowing the potential for concentration loss, Gerard kept his vision focused on each shot, and no other. After that opening 64, which featured two eagles, a bunch of birdies, and a handful of bogeys, Gerard settled down to a mere two bogeys over the final 54 holes.

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