Tiger vs Rory The Gulf Grows


The bad blood between World No. 1 Tiger Woods and Rory Sabbatini is boiling again.
The latest chapter in the feud was writ large this week when a representative for Woods was asked by GOLF CHANNEL if Tiger or his people had heard anything from the Sabbatini camp since December.
Nothing, said Greg McLaughlin, president of the Tiger Woods Foundation and tournament director of Tigers Target World Challenge presented by Countrywide. And Im not expecting we will.
December is when Sabbatini withdrew from Woods tournament after 54 holes, but not before pocketing the $170,000 for finishing last in the elite 16-player field. Sabbatini cited unspecified personal reasons for the pull-out. A Sabbatini spokesman said Sabbatini was suffering from shin splints.
Several players openly criticized Sabbatini for his decision not to play Sunday. They (the Sabbatini camp) couldnt even get their stories straight, added one tournament official.
Woods event is an invitational, with the top 12 players on the world rankings getting automatic spots in the field. One Woods source told GOLF CHANNEL the tournament will not be disappointed if Sabbatini declines to play in the 2008 event if he qualifies. We would certainly encourage him not to accept his invitation, said the source.
For his part, McLaughlin, when asked if he hoped Sabbatini would choose not to play in the 2008 Target, said that was an accurate characterization.
Sabbatini finished in the middle of the pack at the Mercedes-Benz Championship last week and declined comment all week long on the brewing Woods feud. But his agent, Bud Martin, presented the other side of the story late Monday.
Martin said he had made several calls to McLaughlin, none of which had been returned. He said he hoped the matter could be cleared up. Obviously, Greg is a friend of mine, Martin said.
Martin said Sabbatinis current plan is to donate the $170,000 from Tigers tournament to United Through Reading, a program that allows military personnel to record themselves reading books to their children and then send the DVDs home.
Martin also pointed out that Target, Tigers title sponsor, is heavily involved in supporting United Through Reading. He said the tentative plan is for Sabbatini to make the donation at the Buick Invitational in San Diego later this month.
Perhaps not coincidentally, Woods first scheduled tournament appearance in 2008 is the Buick Invitational.
The enmity between Woods and Sabbatini surfaced last year when Sabbatini publicly said he thought Woods was more beatable than he had previously been.
Woods, who usually lets his clubs do the talking in these instances, pointed out the difference in his record and Sabbatinis'Tiger has won 13 majors, Sabbatini has won none.
Sources say Woods was privately furious with the circumstances surrounding Sabbatinis withdrawal from his tournament. And the subsequent comments from the Woods camp clearly indicate that animosity still exists.
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