To preview the 2013 PGA TOUR season, PGATOUR.COM is counting down the Top 100 Players to Watch in 2013. For an archive page with the top 100 players and for an explanation on how the list was compiled, click here .
2013 PREVIEW: It's hard to imagine a $1 million-plus season being a disappointment but Rory Sabbatini can't have been happy with the second half of the year as he missed the cut in seven of his last 10 starts. Don't look for that trend to continue in the new year, though -- the South African is too much of a competitor.
2012 DEFINING MOMENT: Sabbatini held a one-stroke lead at the midway point of the Memorial Tournament but ended up shooting 1 under on the weekend and tying for second, two strokes behind Tiger Woods. And don't forget the 18-karat golf Rolex he won for his first ace on TOUR, courtesy of an 8-iron on the 16th hole during the final round of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands. – Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ALBERS’ QUICK TAKE: Everyone knows Rory has a temper. There are times that I cringe while watching him play. However, I’m not sure people know how generous Rory is off the course. He is very supportive of the military and very generous with charity donations. Rory is a good guy who uses anger as a motivation during a round. -- Fred Albers, SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio
BOLTON’S FANTASY OUTLOOK: Too much of a wild card for short-term formats. Stick with full-season games where his busy schedule enhances his value. He missed 16 cuts and withdrew once in 29 starts in 2012, but he was also retooling his swing with Rick Smith. Sabbatini is only 36, so you expect the modifications to click on a consistent basis, but he offered little to suggest that he was close late in the year, surviving just one of his last nine cuts. Meanwhile, one gamer's concern is another's treasure. Salary formats should try to squeeze him in at just $1.128 million, especially since he's not yet exempt for 2013-14 (i.e. he's entering a contract year). -- Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy expert
2012 QUICK REVIEW
Regular Season ranking
Final Playoffs ranking
||The Memorial Tournament|
|By the Numbers
Cuts made: 13
Rounds played: 84
Top-10 finishes: 2
Money List rank: 90th
Driving distance: 119th
Driving accuracy: 103rd
Greens in regulation: 159th
Strokes gained-putting: 169th
Scoring average: 128th
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
What is you prediction for Rory Sabbatini in 2013? Fill out the form below and let us know.
SILVIS, Ill. -- Tee times have been released for the first two rounds of this week’s the John Deere Classic. Here’s a look at some of the notable and more intriguing groups.
Which groups are you most interested in following this week? Fill out the form below and let us know.
Scott Piercy, Rory Sabbatini, Charley Hoffman: Piercy is coming off a top 15 finish at Greenbrier. Sabbatini and Hoffman both have top-five finishes recently -- but no wins.
Ted Potter Jr., Zach Johnson, Nick Watney: One week after his unlikely win at The Greenbrier, Potter finds himself paired with a couple of A-listers at TPC Deere Run. Johnson already has a win this season, and the Iowa native badly wants to win this event.
K.J. Choi, Jonathan Byrd, Stewart Cink: These three veterans all have multiple PGA TOUR wins -- but Choi's 2011 PLAYERS win remains the most recent. Byrd won this tournament in 2007.
Kyle Stanley, Steve Stricker, Camilo Villegas: Already with a win this season and three previous John Deere titles, Stricker is the favorite this week. He is paired with Kyle Stanley, whom he beat with a birdie on the 72nd hole last year.
Rory Sabbatini makes a hole-in-one on the 162-yard 16th hole.
CROMWELL, Conn. -- Rory Sabbatini just aced the 161-yard par-3 16th hole.
The ace moved Sabbatini to 4 under on his round and 9 under for the tournament. He used an 8-iron.
“Kind of joking in mid flight, I said, be the right number and go in the hole, and it landed perfect and just kind of spun left, and the crowd started to go crazy and all of a sudden it was hard to tell whether or not it went in or not,” Sabbatini said. “But then actually you could tell from the reaction of the crowd. Pretty surreal. It was amazing.”
Sabbatini wins an 18-karat Rolex watch valued at $27,650. It was the first hole-in-one for him on the PGA TOUR.
He also had holes-in-one at the Masters and THE PLAYERS Championship, though both were in practice rounds.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- The last few weeks haven’t exactly gone well for Rory Sabbatini with missed cuts in each of his last three starts. But it was a second-round 80 at Riviera that was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.
“I just decided it’s time; I can’t just continue to try to and get around the golf course and try and escape,” Sabbatini, the defending champion at this week’s Honda Classic, said Tuesday. “We have to try and improve the whole situation.”
The other half of the “we” Sabbatini was referring to is swing coach Rick Smith.
In earnest, Smith and Sabbatini began talking about 18 months ago. After the Northern Trust Open, though, is when they got to work.
Sabbatini missed the cut the following week in Mexico, too, but he feels comfortable as he returns to the site of his last victory.
“We spent some time focusing on just getting the swing on the right angles, right planes and just shortening it up,” Sabbatini said. “It’s been an adjustment, but I think I’m finally starting to grab the concept and really feel like I’m more natural with it.
The tee times for the first round of this week’s The Honda Classic have been released. CLICK HERE for the tee times. Use the space below to comment about the pairings at PGA National.
Here’s a look at some of the notable groups in the first two rounds:
Jim Furyk/Y.E. Yang/Henrik Stenson
Yang has owned PGA National in recent years, with a win and a second-place finish.
Kyle Stanley/Keegan Bradley/Rory McIlroy
Three of the best players in the world under the age of 30, and all three bomb the ball.
Mark Wilson/Rory Sabbatini/Camilo Villegas
These three players won at PGA National in 2007, 2011 and 2010, respectively. Villegas and Wilson squared off in a four-man playoff (with Boo Weekley and Jose Conceres) on a steamy Monday in 2007, which Wilson won.
Lee Westwood/Ian Poulter/Tiger Woods
No introduction needed for this trio. Tiger makes his first start at PGA National. This is the third consecutive year Westwood has teed if up here. Tied for ninth in 2010.
John Huh/Charl Schwartzel/Ernie Els
The PGA TOUR's newest winner (Huh) immediately graduates to an A-list tee time with a pair of major champions.
Anthony Kim/Mike Weir/Mark Calcavecchia
Can Kim and Weir get their games turned around at the start of the Florida Swing? And don't count out Calcavecchia, who has lived in Palm Beach for many years. He tied for fourth here in 2008.
Now, it’s your turn: Which groups are you most interested in following this week?
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Tuesday, Feb. 28
Rory Sabbatini: 8:30 a.m.
Davis Love III: 1:30 p.m.
Lee Westwood: 5:00 p.m.
Jack Nicklaus: 5:30 p.m.
Keegan Bradley: TBD
Wednesday, Feb. 29
Hank Kuehne: 9:30 a.m.
Tiger Woods: Following 6:45 a.m. Pro-Am
Mark Wilson: Following 8:35 a.m. Pro-Am
Rory McIlroy: Following 8:45 a.m. Pro-Am
KAPALUA, Hawaii -- Rory Sabbatini and his caddie Mick Doran had a tough start in Saturday's second round. They missed their tee time, resulting in a two-stroke penalty for Sabbatini before he even made his first swing of the day.
“It was one of those things, just a goofy moment," Sabbatini said. "But you know what? It was a good day anyway."
Both Sabbatini and Doran, who has caddied for 23 years, took the blame for the incident. Sabbatini said neither he nor Doran were paying attention. Doran said his watch was four minutes slow.
Once Doran realized they were due on the tee for the pairing (Sean O'Hair was the playing partner), they tried to get there on time. "It was a close call," Sabbatini said.
"Nick feels bad about it," he added. "Ultimately, it's my responsibility more than anybody’s because it’s my job to be playing golf."
Doran said it was the first time in 23 years that it has happened to him. He said Sabbatini made the situation better by making some light-hearted jokes.
"It was totally my fault," Doran said. "I'll take the blame."
KAPALUA, Hawaii – Rory Sabbatini suffered a two-stroke penalty prior to Saturday’s second round when he was late for his tee time.
Sabbatini was scheduled to start his round at 4:35 p.m. ET with partner Sean O’Hair. But he did not make it on time.
The two shots were assessed on his score on the par-4 opening hole. He took five strokes to play the hole but instead of a bogey, he suffered a triple bogey.
That left Sabbatini at 3 over for the tournament after shooting even-par 73 in Friday’s opening round.