Rory Sabbatini: Golf’s Lex Luther

Posted by Robert on May 20

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There’s a jackass in every crowd. The NFL has T.O., Baseball - Manny Ramirez, and the PGA Tour has Rory BRAT-atini.   This idiot is currently facing suspension for a couple incidents this year.

The first incident happened in February during the Northern Trust Open at Riviera.  After Rory hit a wayward drive, a 16-year-old volunteer who found his ball for him had the audacity to mark it with a soda can. The steaming Brute-tini showed the helpful youngster what golf is really about – rich millionaires throwing temper tantrums after playing bad.  Rory would later apologize after being reprimanded by the Tour.

The 2nd incident involved playing partner Sean O’Hair at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans last month.  Sean, known as a very quiet and unassuming gent apparently wasn’t playing fast enough for Rory.  Rory is known on the tour as a fast player and he expects everybody else in his group to keep up – or face the wrath of the R-Bag. (Rory was voted in a 2007 Sports Illustrated poll by fellow Tour pros as "the least favorite playing partner.")

Rory hammered Sean with profanities after Sean tried to defend himself, all witnessed by fellow playing partner Pat Perez who wasn’t talking when the press asked about the incident later.  (Those of you that follow The Tour closely will appreciate how ironic that Pat, once nicknamed “The mini-volcano,” was the calm one in the group.)

And these aren’t isolated incidents for Sabba-meeni.   There was the incident in 2005 at the Booz Allen Classic where he showed up Ben Crane, a prior Tour winner who was in contention at the time.  Granted the two were put on the clock for slow play a few holes earlier, but by the 17th they had caught up.  After Rory dunked his approach in the lake, instead of waiting for Ben (one of the nicest players on Tour) to hit his approach shot, Ror-wad raced up and took his drop.  Then after Ben hit, Rory chipped on and putted out before hauling-butt to the 18th tee solo.  The gallery booed him on the tee box and on the green. (Good for them.)

However, my favorite Rory Story involves Tiger Woods and the spanking he put on the brat at Firestone in 2007 at WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.  Earlier that year after Tiger played poorly at The Players, Rory chirped, "I think he's more beatable than ever."

Rory had the opportunity to put his money where his big mouth is as he started Sunday with a one shot lead over Tiger, but by hole #6 – it was already over.  Tiger sliced up Firestone and Rory like a skilled surgeon and a patron, retired firefighter, Steve Banky, expressed what everybody else was thinking when he sarcastically asked Rory at the turn, “Hey Rory, still thing Tiger’s beatable?”

In turn, true to Crab-atini’s form he cursed at the man, called him a drunk and asked a police officer to remove him.

I suppose every sport needs a villain and Rory is ours.  The man who usually dons a black hat and a skull belt buckle is fun to root against.  I doubt that even if he is suspended by the Tour his behavior will change much – at least I sure hope not.

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