Rory Sabbatini has never been the kind of guy you'd point to as the embodiment of genteel class on the golf course. Always mouthy, occasionally temperamental, he's driven tour officials, players and fans mad over the years with his antics. But after a long period in which he'd appeared to calm down, Sabbatini is now back in the spotlight following a pair of incidents that won't endear him to anyone.
The AP's Doug Ferguson brings together the many threads of this story, noting that Sabbatini is now facing a potential suspension after two incidents that, shall we say, don't reflect the best of what we expect of our golf pros.
The first incident took place much earlier this year, at the Northern Trust Open at Riviera. According to the AP's sources, a teenage volunteer marked a spot in foot-high grass near the fifth green where he thought Sabbatini's ball had landed. Sabbatini launched into a tirade against the kid for allegedly affecting the ball; as it turned out, the ball wasn't even his.
More recently, at last week's Zurich Classic, Sabbatini and playing partner Sean O'Hair got into a "profanity-laced argument," the reasons behind which haven't been disclosed. Pat Perez, the third member of the trio, told the AP that the PGA Tour has asked him not to comment on it, but other players in the area said the argument got so fierce that O'Hair's caddie had to keep the players apart.
The tour, naturally, refused to comment on the incident, though tour officials have said that a 30-day suspension is possible in these sorts of events. Whatever the ruling is, we won't know about any fines, because the PGA Tour doesn't disclose such things. And that's just ridiculous, as many have argued of late. Peter Dawson, chief executive of the R&A, recently indicated that he believes tours should make fines and other disciplinary action public, and he's absolutely right. No more of this secrecy nonsense; sunlight is the best disinfectant.
Sabbatini was forthcoming and contrite. Nah, we're kidding, he was as dismissive of the whole matter as ever, the same classy fellow he's always been. "Comment on what? Those crazy rumors going around?" Sabbatini said in response to requests for comment. "Well, I'm playing this week, so I wouldn't worry about it too much, OK, guys?"
OK, Rory. Whatever you say.
Sources: Sabbatini in trouble with tour [AP/Yahoo! Sports]