Golf News for Monday, January 7, 2008 | Daily Golf Blogs

Chris Baldwin: Rory Sabbatini plays cry baby

Rory Sabbatini straddles the fine line between being the most compelling golfer in the world not named Tiger Woods and being a punk.

Well, Sabbatini went and took another dip into punkhood at the PGA Tour's season-opening Mercedes-Benz Championship by conducting a media boycott.

That's right, the man who has something to say about everything (including Tiger) refused to talk to reporters at all the entire tournament week. Which suddenly makes Sabbatini just another athlete who's come to the conclusion that he should blame that all-powerful mysterious media for his own issues. Sabbatini is better than this. Really, he is. The guy's smart, engaging and often fearless.

But now he's acting like your average 3-year-old in a sandbox.

It's the golf writers fault that Sabbatini bolted Tiger's tournament a day early to get to Hawaii and had his agent give that lame "shin splints" excuse after the fact? Isn't Sabbatini supposed to have guts? He should have stood up in Hawaii by standing by his Tiger flight. He should have went apologetic about how if it hadn't been a tournament run by Tiger Woods, he never would have taken so much flak. He should have railed into all the golfers who sucked up to Tiger by going after him.

Instead, he showed the spineless courage of a commissioner or CEO. He tried to make something go away by simply dodging it.

That's so beneath Sabbatini, so not what he claims to be about.

Sabbatini's great when he's tweaking Tiger, refusing to act like the world's greatest golfer is this celestial being who cannot be approached. He's a punk when he's leaving Ben Crane behind on the green and boycots the media that helped make him such a recognizable golfer (quick, what major has Sabbatini won again?)

And what kind of stand did he think he was making in Kapalua anywhere? There are maybe 10 legit golf writers ever at this Maui event and that estimate is on the high side. This year, it was probably closer to five. It's not like Sabbatini was going to find himself swarmed. For all his sometimes robotic answers, Tiger never goes an entire tournament without having a single press conference.

Sabbatini should have kept his own streak intact. Instead, he kicked himself in the rear by zipping his lips.

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