Monday, August 06, 2007

Big thanks to Rory Sabbatini

We all owe Rory Sabbatini a big thank you for tugging on Superman’s cape again and giving us back the Tiger Woods we’re accustomed to being dazzled by.

The Mouth That Rory-ed popped off again last weekend about Tiger’s supposed vulnerability, drawing the featured Sunday pairing with Tiger at the World Golf Championship/Bridgestone/Woods Family Annuity Classic at Firestone.

Of course, Woods won by such a wide margin that he could have played two extra holes and still been the winner over Sabbatini, who probably wanted to hide behind his giant belt buckle the way he played on Sunday.

Sabbatini has made a habit this year of saying Woods is “as beatable as ever” and he’s been right. Woods is as beatable as ever, which means just about never when he has a scent of the lead on the weekend.

You knew Saturday night that Woods was going to have ‘the look’ on Sunday, knowing he had Sabbatini in his pairing. My guess is Woods is amused by Sabbatini’s chatter, knowing that Sabbatini is a brash guy and knowing that he’s going beat Rory almost every time they play.

Give Sabbatini credit for making things interesting. His remarks at the Wachovia Championship here started the storyline and it’s been fun to watch it stay alive through the summer.

Some had suggested prior to Firestone that Woods’ focus and game had dulled. He hadn’t won in five starts - and that tells you how ridiculously over the top our expectations of Woods have become - and he remains winless in majors this year.

Tiger reminded us at Firestone that his game is just fine. He missed by a whisker of winning the Masters and U.S. Open but the focus was on why he hadn’t won.

My guess is he won’t win the PGA Championship at Southern Hills this week. It’s not a course that seemed to suit him when he’s played there previously but he’ll keep himself in contention.

Then again, if Sabbatini gets in the chase at Southern Hills, count on Tiger shadowing him. And we know how that story will end.


Clayj said...

Isn't this the first time in Tiger's career that he has won a tournament going into the final round NOT in the lead? If I remember correctly, Tiger's record when not leading going into the final round was something like 0-55.

Anonymous said...

That's only in major championships. He's come from behind in regular tour events and WGC events plenty of times.