Lighten up Rory, it’s Just a Game!
38-year-old Rory Sabbatini has a bit of a reputation. To those who know him well, he might be a great guy and is just misunderstood. But from the golfing fans perspective, he has a bit of a temper – an anger management issue one might say. That’s why Rory, the winner of six PGA Tour events, gets our vote for the meanest person in golf.
Incident One – Ben Crane, 2005
Let’s start our journey through time back in 2005, almost ten years ago. Rory, then just 29, was playing in the Booz Allen Classic with another young player, Ben Crane. Rory got so fed up with the slow play of Crane, a noted slow player, that when he hit his second shot at the par-4 17th into the pond beyond the green, he snapped. He walked all the way to the green and then beyond it, before Crane had even played his second shot.
Then, after Crane hit his approach, Rory chipped onto the green, putted out and then walked off to the 18th tee rather than wait for Crane.
“Rory made an interesting decision to speed up play and didn’t invite Ben along,” quipped Stuart Appleby. “It’s not the right thing to do but it’s not something that happened over one day. Rory felt he needed to stress a point and was going to take things into his own hands.”
Incident Two – Tiger Woods, 2007
Is it really a good idea to pick a fight with the best golfer on the planet? Probably not, but Rory did anyway.
At the Wachovia Championship in May, Rory led the field by one stroke heading into Sunday. Rory imploded however, giving up five strokes to Woods to lose. However, Rory went on to proclaim that Woods was “more beatable than ever.” Really? You just lost bro.
A few months later in the final round of the Bridgestone Invitational, Rory had a fan removed who was heckling him with questions about Woods.
Finally in December, Rory withdrew from the Target World Challenge, an off-season event hosted by Tiger Woods, becoming the only player in history to withdraw from that event. Tisk, tisk, tisk.
Incident Three – Sean O’Hair, 2011
Four years after his spat with Woods, Rory was at it again, only this time with someone with far less name recognition. At the Zurich Classic in New Orleans, Rory got into a profanity-laced tirade with playing partner Sean O’Hair. The reasons for the argument were never disclosed.
Earlier in the year, Rory yelled at a volunteer helping to locate the ball at the Northern Trust Open. Rory, thinking that the volunteer had moved his ball, yelled at him. O’Hair was also in the group then too. Asked by reporters surrounding the incidents whether he could face a possible suspension, Rory put it like this:
“Comment on what? Those crazy rumors going around? Well, I’m playing this week, so I wouldn’t worry about it too much, OK guys?” He continued. “You’re going based on rumors. How many times do I have to tell you?”
Incident Four – Vijay Singh, 2012
We end our history lesson in 2012, with an altercation with Vijay Singh, who’s been known to have a temper himself. On the first hole of the third round, Singh missed a 6-foot put for par. Afterwards, he swore at Rory’s caddie, Mick Doran, for allegedly moving while Singh lined up his putt. When Rory defended Doran, Singh swore at him loudly enough for volunteer marshals near the gallery ropes to hear. The two then continued to go at it.
“I feel that Vijay definitely needs to approach my caddie and resolve the situation,” Rory said after the round.
So there you have it. Rory Sabbatini, our winner of the meanest person in golf. Why is he so mad? Maybe it’s because he hasn’t won an event on tour in four years. Our message to Rory goes like this – “Cheer up! You’re still a millionaire, and a professional golfer. Even if you’re ranked 165 spots lower than the other Rory on tour, you’re still way better than pretty much every other Rory in the world. And you have a beautiful wife and beautiful children. Have some fun. After all, it’s just a game.”