Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sabbatini off Tiger's Christmas card list

Surely, Rory Sabbatini didn’t just pack his swagger, his family and his $170,000 last-place check from Tiger Woods and the Target World Challenge and fly away to Maui a day early without saying thank you and offering an explanation.

Surely, Sabbatini is smarter than that.

Then again …

It’s still unclear exactly why the mouth that Rory-ed became the first person in the history of Tiger’s pre-Christmas bash to withdraw – reports ranged from shin splints (hmmmm) to a desire to get to Maui early – but it looks worse than the belt buckles Sabbatini likes to wear.

In case you missed it, Sabbatini was in last place in the 16-player field with one round remaining when he bolted California for Hawaii without, if reports from the scene are accurate, telling the host how much he appreciated the chance to pay for Christmas and then some.

As Fred Couples told reporters, Sabbatini is messing with the wrong guy.

Sabbatini picked at Tiger all season – it started here at the Wachovia Championship – jabbering about this and that like a man desperate to be taken seriously. He never beat Tiger when it mattered, though Sabbatini had an otherwise outstanding season.

It’s one thing to challenge a guy. Sports are about competition and if you don’t believe you can beat a guy, you won’t.

But it’s something else to get invited to the guy’s private party, show up, eat his shrimp, drive his courtesy car, take his money and leave without finishing the tournament. Sabbatini’s agent said his guy had been bothered by shin splints and that’s why he withdrew.

“Sure he did … and Roger Clemens’ agent said he didn’t do steroids,” Couples was quoted as saying.

If Sabbatini’s shins were hurting him – everybody who believes that one raise your hand – he should have at least had the class to make sure his host understood the situation. That’s what most of us would do, I hope.

At the very least, maybe Sabbatini will donate the $170,000 he left town with to somebody who needs it more than he does.

Tiger – and the rest of us – would appreciate it.

And Rory can make other plans for mid-December next year.


Anonymous said...

Oh how could that evil Rory do such a thing? How could he not kneel at the feet of Tiger Woods like all the media and golf world does? What a shame he doesn't recognize the "Chosen One" as the second coming?
Down on your knees Rory and ask forgiveness from the sports writers of the world who know better than you of what ails you.