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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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Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial