Bridgestone Invitational round four: Sabbatini is nothing but a bully
Whoosh! Is it a bird, is it a plane? No it’s Tiger Woods saying ‘That’s enough births, deaths and marriages, let’s get on with the golf’. Such a masterful performance was well worth losing money to witness.
So why am I mad as hell?
Because of Rory Sabbatini of course. Not so much that he slunk from the challenge like a dog with its tail between its legs, although that was painful. Matchplay? Call it mismatchplay on a grand scale. But such headlines as ‘Woods rubs Sabbatini’s nose in the mud’ will be punishment enough for someone with his ego.
What really got me steaming was that while a fan can yell at Woods “Come be our quarterback” and nothing happens, when someone asks Sabbatini “Still think Tiger’s beatable?” the golfer calls a cop and has him ejected, justifying himself later by saying: “We’re out here to do our job - let us do our job.”
As a renowned journalist once of this parish would have said: “Pass the sick bag Alice".
Fair dos if the heckler was interrupting a shot, but not if Sabbatini was just walking between greens as reported. The South African clearly misunderstands that his “job” is first and foremost entertainment, and entertainers are up there to be popped at. If he was singing opera at La Scala he’d have been booed off the stage with no cops to help him at all - they’d probably have been booing the loudest.
The only conclusion I can draw is that Sabbatini is a classic bully, one who can dish it out but can’t take it and runs to teacher instead. So I take back all the nice things I’ve said about him. He now goes in a tray marked in big black capital letters with a word derived from throwing.
Back at the golf, I could speculate on how different it might have been had the course stayed bone dry instead of a soggy mess. That made the greens easier to play, if not the rough. But even the big bully admits he lost it in his head as Tiger came out fighting from the get-go and ended it as a competition by the turn.
Nothing seemed a problem for Tiger, not even the rough that dogged everyone else. And those chip shots into the hole were something else.
What odds Tiger now for the PGA Championship? Indeed, could his imperious performance Sunday, only the second bogey-free round of the tournament, be the start of another run of triumphs similar to last year? It has that feel about it. The FedEx Cup playoffs could be over before they’ve hardly started.
Meanwhile over at Reno: Mark Steve Flesch down as a man to have around when the wind’s blowing. He could only par Sunday, but that was plenty enough to become the season’s fourth wire-to-wire winner and work his way in to the PGA Championship. It was never even close: Flesch topped the field for accuracy off the tee, was second for hitting greens and third for his drives. Only putting let him down - he could only manage 15th!.
PS: People are getting a bit animated about the 2nd place performance of Justin Rose. Great result, certainly, but then who doubted he was a very good player? It’s whether he’s a winner or not that is the big imponderable and the jury seems to have taken the summer off on that one. Let’s face it, he wasn’t exactly under any pressure Sunday. Another strong showing from Chris DiMarco is interesting though.
PPS: Best comment on the forum - “Sabbatini will have a sore neck in the morning. He has been shaking it all afternoon.”
PPPS: A visitor called Jeffrey has left a message on my previous blog saying he is writing to the PGA Tour to demand they apologise to and recompense the ejected man. I wholeheartedly agree, and urge anyone who feels strongly about it to do the same. I guess the best way is through the Tour’s feedback form on their website.
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Shame on Sabbatini.
"We're out here to do our job -- let us do our job," Sabbatini said later. "Have a little bit of decorum, a little bit of class out there. I guess a few too many beers were talking."
If he can't handle the heat, then he should learn to quit playing with hot coals. Decorum? Class? Has he any idea what either of those words mean?
Another one of those players that seem to think that they can use f-bombs and bad manners. What's worse is they get away with it.
Congrats to Tiger. I guess he's still as beatable as ever...Sabatinni I mean, lol
Money talks. I wonder if the same marketing hero at Nike who signed Tiger also got Sabbatini and Wie. Wrestlers are assigned either good guy or bad guy personas. Nike has a lot of good sports. I guess they need a couple examples of poor sportsmanship to balance the ledger.
YOU DA MAN! or IT'S IN THE HOLE! should be met with an immediate ejection. No place for that in golf.
If you want to act like that, go to a football game.
2under: while I understand your sentiments, certainly regarding the infuriating "In the hole" merchants, I think you are whistling in the wind. You can't avoid fan participation - indeed it does add to the atmosphere. Look at Scottsdale for instance where it's almost de rigeur to barrack the players, especially on the 18th.
federal law by ejecting him?
"Thank you for your recent correspondence regarding Rory Sabbatini at the Bridgestone Invitational.
Golf is unlike any other major sport in that the fans are so close to the action and the players. This is one of the great things about our game, but can also be the source of difficulty when fans and players interact. Fortunately, the vast majority of both groups – fans and players – understand there are courtesies which must be observed in order to maintain an enjoyable atmosphere for the fans and a fair competitive arena for the players. Because of our desire to maintain the fundamental civility of the game we so greatly enjoy, tournament officials are much quicker to escort out spectators who heckle golfers than would be officials of other sports. At the same time, we expect a higher standard of civility from our players as well, which would include attempting to ignore a single instance of heckling.
Clearly, neither the spectator in question nor Mr. Sabbatini met the higher standards to which we aspire. Members of the PGA TOUR staff are in continual contact with PGA TOUR players, and will certainly discuss this issue with Mr. Sabbatini, including ways to avoid a situation such as this in the future. Thank you again for your correspondence."
In all fairness, that was a reasonable approach to the problem. Still, i'd have like to have seen Banky at least get his $55 back.
Heckling belongs in a comedy club, not on a golf course.
If the PGA is to allow this behavior to continue, what do you think press conference answers will be like? The media already accuses these guys of providing canned, vanilla cliches. If we allow heckling to continue, what kind of answers do you think you'll receive then? None, because they don't want to deal with the same things Rory did.
As well, I absolutely hate this idea of "entitlement" that spectators have at sporting events b/c they "pay good money." It may be part of other sports, but it certainly shouldn't be part of golf. Why should I tolerate some jackass who wants to become part of the event, like this guy did? His ticket affords him the opportunity to watch the event, not become part of it. It's just like watching an NBA game, when an egocentric referee decides he is going to become part of the action, as opposed to just calling the game. It is highly regrettable.
If you are a spectator, keep your damn mouth shut. As a fellow spectator, I don't want to hear your heckling, and I don't care to hear your poor understanding and analysis of the game. If you want to shout, re-invest that $55 dollars towards an afternoon at your local sports pub.
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