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March 8 2011

8:32 PM

Sabbatini’s putter arrives just in time

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Rory Sabbatini got into the WGC-Cadillac Championship after winning last week’s Honda Classic.

DORAL, Fla. -- If not for his win at last week’s Honda Classic, Rory Sabbatini wouldn’t be in the field at this week’s World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship. And if not for the efforts of TaylorMade PGA TOUR rep, Dave Williams, Sabbatini might not have won at PGA National.

Here’s why. After Sabbatini tinkering with a putter he was trying out in Mexico two weeks ago, he asked TaylorMade to make some adjustments (length, swing weight, loft, etc.) to it. They did, but bad weather in Memphis, delayed its arrival from Carlsbad, Calif., to PGA National.

FedEx told Williams it would arrive Wednesday morning but when he saw it wasn’t there by 8:30 he got worried.

“I still didn’t see anything so I called and they said it’s at [a nearby] distribution center but it’s on a truck,” Williams said. “I told them I needed this and begged her and said how important it was, so they said they’d see if they could get it pulled.”

After about 30 minutes they found the package. The only problem was that it was addressed to Paul Loegering, TaylorMade’s PGA TOUR manager and essentially Williams’  boss. Loegering couldn’t leave the course, however, so Williams hopped in the car armed with a business card from Loegering and drove to the facility.

Once there, though, FedEx wouldn’t release the package because it was in Loegering’s name -- not Williams’ -- so they had to call Loegering to verify.

Williams then drove back to the course and got it to Sabbatini about an hour before his pro-am tee time and in plenty of time for him to get the necessary reps with it.

“I guess it was meant to be that I was going to use the putter last week,” Sabbatini said. “That’s the type of service TaylorMade provides. They go above and beyond.”

Sabbatini, of course, then went on to win and became the last player to get in the field this week at TPC Blue Monster at Doral.

As for the putter, it’s a Ghost 770 with a single bend shaft that’s face balanced. It also has a Pure Roll insert and zero sightlines -- all changes from the previous model he was using, which was a toe-weighted model with a different shaft and face. And, yes, it’s in the bag for this week. -- Brian Wacker

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