Rory Rory Rory

By Brian HewittMay 28, 2007, 4:00 pm
Rory Sabbatini is an annoyance.
Rory Sabbatini is a hero.
Rory Sabbatini is an idiot.
Rory Sabbatini is a force.
When it comes to opinions on Rory Sabbatini, it all depends upon whom you ask.
Rory Sabbatini, 31 and the same age as Tiger Woods, is more different things to more different people in golf than anybody else in the game today.
Rory Sabbatini is the newly-minted champion of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. Which means he now owns a plaid jacket thats almost as loud as he is.
Rory Sabbatini is a serious stick.
I told my wife by the end of the year Im going to be top 10 in the world rankings, he said after needing just one hole to defeat Jim Furyk and Bernhard Langer in a playoff. And Im not going to let anyone stop me.
He had already ascended to No. 14 before Colonial.
Rory Sabbatini is a pain in the neck; a player who is perceived as saying and doing what he wants when he wants without really caring for the feelings of his playing competitors or, for that matter, the rest of the players on the PGA TOUR.
Rory Sabbatini is a South African native who cares immensely about the American soldiers who know the price of freedom in the United States is eternal vigilance. He also knows better than most that American soldiers protect the freedoms of democracies all across the globe. And he looks for ways to pay homage to those soldiers.
Rory Sabbatini is fodder for Tiger Woods. Woods lives for guys like Sabbatini to come along and provide bulletin board material for him. Sabbatini said he wanted a piece of Tiger earlier this month at Wachovia. Woods drummed him while winning the golf tournament. Sabbatini came right back and said he wanted more of Tiger at THE PLAYERS. Tiger came from behind on Sunday to finish ahead of Sabbatini.
But Rory Mario Trevor Sabbatini keeps on coming. At Colonial Sabbatini drained a 13-foot birdie putt on the first hole of sudden death to win 1.08 million dollars.
The U.S. Open is three weeks away and Tiger, for what its worth, now has more bulletin board material.
Guys like Woods love to beat guys like Sabbatini whom they perceive to be cocky and without portfolio. Sabbatini has now won four times on the PGA TOUR. But he hasnt won a major yet.
Rory Sabbatini is the player you would most like to see matched against Woods in the Sunday singles of the Presidents Cup scheduled for Canada later this year.
It feels so good, Sabbatini said moments after eliminating Furyk, Langer and a lot of doubts about whether he could really put his money where his mouth was.
Sabbatinis the guy who stormed to the next tee and hit his drive a few years ago while playing with the Ben Crane who was, in Sabbatinis estimation, dawdling on the previous green and generally playing too slowly. A lot of players applauded Sabbatinis attempt to underscore how glacial Cranes normal pace of play was. Others thought Sabbatini was showing Crane up and out of line.
Rory Sabbatini is a lightning rod.
They say you either love him or hate him.
Actually, I love some of the things he does. And I cant stand some of the others. Hate? Thats a strong word when it comes to evaluating men who chase a small white ball for a living.
But I will say this: I would not have wanted to be Rory Sabbatinis second grade teacher. This is one 8-year-old who would have been impossible to convince that he needed to stand in line single file.
I will also say this: If I was in combat and engaging the enemy in live fire, I would want Rory Sabbatini in my foxhole.
Rory Sabbatini takes a great big swing at the golf ball just the way he lives his life in great big gulps. Sunday at Colonial, a golf course that demands precision, Sabbatini led the field in putting. His game has more than one dimension.
Putting will be paramount at Oakmont at the U.S. Open. Which is why you cant leave Sabbatini off the short list of candidates for our national championship. I never thought Id write those words.
But whether you like it or not, Rory Sabbatini just keeps coming. If you are in his way, he will knock you over if he can.
My goal next year is to probably get to No. 1, Sabbatini said Sunday.
One of the most entertaining things to watch for in golf in the next several months is whether he will be able to knock Tiger Woods over.
Yes, the Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson rivalry was renewed when Mickelson won THE PLAYERS earlier this month. But right now the final Sunday pairing Id like to see most at Oakmont, if you gave me the opportunity to pick and choose, would be Rory Sabbatini vs. Tiger Woods.
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    Tiger can't commit, goes OB on 16: 'That’s on me'

    By Will GrayMarch 18, 2018, 11:05 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. – Standing on the 16th tee with the leaders in sight and the roars of the crowd still ringing in his ears, Tiger Woods contemplated three different options for his most critical tee shot of the week.

    He couldn’t decide on any of them, and as a result deposited his chances of winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational into a backyard adjacent to the fairway.

    Woods was only one shot back through 15 holes, but with the leaders well behind him on the course he knew he needed at least a birdie on the par-5 16th to keep pace. Instead, he pulled his tee shot left and out of bounds, leading to an untimely and costly bogey on the easiest hole on the course.

    “I was caught,” Woods said. “I couldn’t decide what I was going to do.”

    In Woods’ mind, he had three options: “fit” a driver left to right with the shape of the fairway, “bomb it over the top” of the dogleg or just hit a 3-wood “straight away.” He opted for the driver, but after missing right the first three days he sent his ball sailing left.

    Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

    Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

    “I bailed out and hit a bad shot,” Woods said. “And that’s on me for not committing.”

    Woods went on to bogey the next hole, but after a par save on No. 18 he finished the week in a tie for fifth at 10 under for his third straight top-12 finish. Given the sizzling close of Rory McIlroy, an eagle on 16 likely would have still left him looking up at the Ulsterman on the leaderboard.

    “Even though I got up there, I just knew I needed to keep making birdies,” Woods said. “Those guys had so many holes behind me, where I just birdied the same holes and so if they made birdie on those holes, I would have to keep going. I got to 16, I figure I’ve got to play the last three holes in 3 under to have a chance and probably force a playoff. And maybe that wouldn’t have been good enough the way Rory is playing back there.”

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    McIlroy (64) storms to Arnold Palmer victory

    By Nick MentaMarch 18, 2018, 10:48 pm

    Rory McIlroy fired a bogey-free, final-round 64, birdied the 72nd hole in Tiger-esque fashion and stormed to a three-shot victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Here’s how Rory ended his winless drought, and how the aforementioned Woods made a Sunday charge before collapsing late:

    Leaderboard: McIlroy (-18), Bryson DeChambeau (-15), Justin Rose (-14), Henrik Stenson (-13), Woods (-10), Ryan Moore (-10)

    What it means: This is McIlroy’s 14th PGA Tour victory and his first worldwide win since Sept. 25th, 2016. That was the day he walked away from East Lake with both the Tour Championship and the FedExCup. It was also the day Arnold Palmer passed away at the age of 87. With the win, McIlroy reasserts himself as a force following a winless 2017 in which he was plagued by a nagging rib injury. The four-time major winner will make one more start at next week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and then make his way to Augusta National, where he looks to complete the career Grand Slam.

    Round of the day: Two back to start the final round, McIlroy made his eight birdies in bunches. He circled three of his last four holes on the front nine – Nos. 6, 7 and 9 – to make the turn in 3-under 33 and work his way into the mix. Following three pars at 10-12, he caught fire, ripping off five birdies in his final six holes. He took the outright lead at 14, chipped in at 15, and sealed the deal at 18.

    Best of the rest: DeChambeau made McIlroy earn it, cutting the lead to just one when he eagled the 16th hole as McIlroy was walking to the final tee. A par at 17 and a bogey at 18 netted him 68 and solo second.

    Big disappointment: This is Stenson’s fourth top-five finish at this event in the last six years. The overnight leader by one, he went 71-71 over the weekend and bogeyed 18 to finish fourth.

    Biggest disappointment: Woods made a vintage Sunday charge at Bay Hill before bogeying two of his final three holes and settling for a final-round 69 and a tie for fifth.The eight-time API winner was minus-5 on the day and just one off the lead when he sniped his tee shot at the par-5 16th out of bounds to the left. He bogeyed both 16 and 17 before making a scrambling par at 18 to finish the week 10 under par.

    Shot of the day: McIlroy’s birdie putt at 18.

    Remind you of anything?

    Quote of the day: "It means a lot. You know, the last time I won a PGA Tour event was the day Mr. Palmer passed away, so it's a little bit ironic that I come here and win. He set a great example for all of us players to try and follow in his footsteps. If everyone on Tour could handle themselves the way Arnie did, the game of golf would be in a better place. ... To be able to win his event, I wish I walked up that hill and got a handshake from him but I'm so happy to my name on that trophy." - McIlroy

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    TT postscript: Masters hype builds after final-round charge

    By Tiger TrackerMarch 18, 2018, 10:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. – Here are some thoughts from walking one last loop alongside Tiger Woods on another steamy afternoon at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

    • What might have been. Woods transformed Bay Hill into an absolutely electric atmosphere when he started the back nine with three birdies in four holes to get within a shot of the lead. Dressed in his traditional red and black, it was a second straight Sunday where we were treated to watching him try to catch the leaders down the stretch.

    • But the momentum he had built up disappeared with a single tee shot, as Woods pulled his drive on the par-5 16th out of bounds and into someone’s backyard. His chances for a ninth tournament title were effectively ended with one errant swing, as he bogeyed the easiest hole on the course and then bogeyed the next for good measure.

    • While the closing stretch was disappointing, it was still another remarkable week for Woods considering where his game stood a month ago. His 3-under 69 in the final round lifted him to 10 under for the week, and he ended up in a tie for fifth. He’s now on the cusp of the top 100 in the world rankings, and he’ll head to the Masters on the heels of three straight top-12 finishes for the first time since 2008.

    Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

    Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

    • It didn’t take long after his final putt dropped for Augusta National to become a topic of conversation. Woods has played only once since 2014, and he plans to make a return trip before the season’s first major to re-acclimate himself with the course and make sure his yardage book “is still good.”

    • Taking the long view on things, Woods was all smiles about his comeback that remains a work in progress. “If you would have asked me at the beginning of the year that I would have had a chance to win two golf tournaments,” Woods said, “I would have taken that in a heartbeat.”

    After going T-2 and T-5 in this latest fortnight, Woods will now have two weeks off before he tees it up for a chance to win his fourth green jacket, his first major since 2008 and his first tournament anywhere since 2013. Can. Not. Wait.

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    Highlights: Tiger (69) makes charge, collapses

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 18, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Tiger Woods made a vintage Sunday charge at Bay Hill before bogeying two of his final three holes and settling for a final-round 69 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

    The eight-time API winner was 5 under on the day and just one off the lead when he sniped his tee shot at the par-5 16th out of bounds to the left. He bogeyed both 16 and 17 before making a scrambling par at 18 to finish the week 10 under par, in a tie for fifth.

    "I didn't commit to it," Woods said of his drive at 16, where he attempted to fly his ball over the fairway bunkers, rather than hitting a cut or laying back. "And that's on me for not committing."

    Starting five off the lead, Tiger got rolling with with a laced 2-iron and a par at No. 1.

    Woods hit the green at the par-3 second but left himself a 50-foot birdie putt and a 6-footer to save par, which he walked in.

    A two-putt 4 at the par-5 fourth gave Woods his first birdie of the day and moved him to 8 under for the week. Apparently energized, Tiger pulled driver at the short par-4 fifth and unleashed this violent swing.

    A pitch from the thick rough hit a sprinkler head and stopped on the apron, leading to this birdie try, which fortunately hit the pin but unfortunately didn't fall.

    Looking to pick up another stroke - or two - at the par-5 sixth, Woods took his drive 317 yards over the water and hit this second shot from 227 yards to 13 feet, leading to another two-putt birdie when his eagle try burned the right edge.

    Returning to his trusty 2-iron, Tiger found the fairway at the par-4 eighth and then threw this dart from 176 yards to 6 feet and rolled in his third birdie putt of the day to move to 10 under.

    His momentum was slowed by his first bogey of the day at No. 9, the product of an errant drive and its ensuing complications. As a result, Woods made the turn 2 under on his round, 9 under for the week, and still five off the lead, like when he started the day.

    But Woods wouldn't wait long to make up for his mistake, immediately responding with another flagged iron and birdie at No. 10.

    He continued his assault on Bay Hill's par-5s at the 12th, getting up and down from the sand for a birdie-4 that moved him to 11 under par, just two off the lead.

    This roll at 13 giving him his third birdie in four holes, and the charge was officially on, as Woods was suddenly just a shot back.

    Just when it looked like Woods was primed for a late run at his 80th PGA Tour victory, Woods stepped to the tee at the par-5 16th, where he had missed wide right three days in a row, and ripped his drive out of bounds into a backyard miles left.

    He made 4 on his second ball for a bogey-6 and dropped another shot at the par-3 17th, ending his chances.