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Rory Sabbatini

Rory Sabbatini

South African-Slovak professional golfer
Rory Sabbatini
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro South African-Slovak professional golfer
Is Athlete Golfer
From South Africa United States of America
Type Sports
Gender male
Birth 2 April 1976, Durban, eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Age 45 years
Star sign Aries
University of Arizona
The details (from wikipedia)


Rory Mario Trevor Sabbatini (born 2 April 1976) is a South African-Slovak professional golfer.

Sabbatini won six times on the PGA Tour between 2000 and 2011 and was runner-up in the 2007 Masters. He spent 21 weeks in the world top-10 in late-2007 and early-2008, with a high of 8th. Sabbatini won the silver medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics, representing Slovakia.

Early life

Sabbatini was born in Durban, South Africa, and has Italian, Scottish and Irish ancestry. He started playing golf at age 4, but concentrated on it from age 12. He was recruited by the University of Arizona, turned professional in 1998 and joined the PGA Tour in 1999. He was the youngest member of the tour that year.

Professional career

During the first decade of the 2000s, Sabbatini had five PGA Tour wins; he finished 2006 placed 12th on the money list. In September 2007, he reached the top 10 of the world rankings for the first time, He spent 21 weeks in the top-10 between September 2007 and March 2008, with a high of 8th.

Sabbatini tied for second at the 2007 Masters Tournament and the 2007 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. He won the Par 3 Contest at the 2008 Masters Tournament.

Sabbatini has represented South Africa in the World Cup six times and won the event with Trevor Immelman in 2003.

In his first Presidents Cup appearance in 2007, Sabbatini had a 0–3–1 record, as the International team was defeated by the United States team.

In May 2009 Sabbatini captured his fifth PGA Tour title by winning the HP Byron Nelson Championship by two strokes over Brian Davis. He broke the tournament record for scoring with a score of 269 (−19), beating the previous record of 270 (−18).

In March 2011 Sabbatini won his sixth PGA Tour Title at The Honda Classic with a one stroke victory over South Korea's Yang Yong-eun. Sabbatini entered the final round with a five stroke lead over the rest of the field, helped by a course record-equalling 64 on day two. He started his final round in solid fashion with an early birdie at the 3rd hole, however as the round progressed he made bogeys at the 9th and 14th, meaning that Yang was able to cut that lead to just one, with a spectacular tee shot on the par-three 15th that landed 18 inches past the pin. On the next hole though, Sabbatini holed a clutch birdie putt to tighten his grip on the title and played out the 17th and 18th in even-par to hold on for a one stroke victory. This win also secured him a place at the 2011 Masters Tournament.

On 15 December 2019, Sabbatini won the QBE Shootout with partner Kevin Tway.

Sabbatini qualified to represent Slovakia at the 2020 Summer Olympics and won the silver medal.


In the final round of the 2005 Booz Allen Classic, apparently frustrated by the slow pace of play by his partner, Ben Crane, Sabbatini finished the 17th hole and walked over to the next tee, leaving Crane behind to complete the hole by himself. He received heavy criticism, and some sympathy, and later apologised for the incident.

Sabbatini also made waves following the Wachovia Championship in May 2007 when, after leading the field by one stroke after day three and then giving up five strokes to Tiger Woods to lose the tournament on Sunday, he proclaimed that Woods was "more beatable than ever." In the final round of the 2007 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, he had a fan removed who heckled him with questions about Tiger Woods. Then, in December of the same year, more controversy was stirred when he 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.

In 2011, Sabbatini created more controversy when at the Northern Trust Open, after hitting his ball in the rough, a volunteer helped to locate the ball, but Sabbatini, thinking that the volunteer had moved his ball, yelled at him. He later apologised to avoid being penalised. Later in 2011, at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, Sabbatini got into a heated, profanity-laced argument with playing partner Sean O'Hair for undisclosed reasons. His penalty was also undisclosed because of the PGA Tour's policy.

Citizenship change

In early 2019, Sabbatini changed his citizenship from South Africa to Slovakia, the home country of his wife and stepson. Sabbatini's wife's cousin is the vice president of the Slovak Golf Association. Initially, there was speculation that the move was made in order for Sabbatini to qualify for the 2020 Olympics, but he said it was to help grow the game in that country. The Olympics use the OWGR (Official World Golf Ranking) for qualification and the 201st-ranked Sabbatini would not have qualified for South Africa with ten others ahead of him. Sabbatini also has a UK passport and US citizenship.

Sabbatini's citizenship changes earned him the nickname "The Boy From Bratislava" from golf writer and Shotgun Start podcast host Brendan Porath.

Professional wins (8)

PGA Tour wins (6)

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 3 Sep 2000 Air Canada Championship −16 (68-68-67-65=268) 1 stroke Grant Waite
2 9 Jun 2003 FBR Capital Open −14 (68-66-68-68=270) 4 strokes Joe Durant, Fred Funk,
Duffy Waldorf
3 19 Feb 2006 Nissan Open −13 (67-65-67-72=271) 1 stroke Adam Scott
4 27 May 2007 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial −14 (70-67-62-67=266) Playoff Jim Furyk, Bernhard Langer
5 24 May 2009 HP Byron Nelson Championship −19 (68-64-65-64=261) 2 strokes Brian Davis
6 6 Mar 2011 The Honda Classic −9 (71-64-66-70=271) 1 stroke Yang Yong-eun

PGA Tour playoff record (1–1)

No. Year Tournament Opponents Result
1 2004 Buick Classic Sergio García, Pádraig Harrington García won with birdie on third extra hole
Harrington eliminated by par on second hole
2 2007 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Jim Furyk, Bernhard Langer Won with birdie on first extra hole

Other wins (2)

World Golf Championships (1)
Other wins (1)
No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 16 Nov 2003 WGC-World Cup
(with Trevor Immelman)
−13 (70-69-63-73=275) 4 strokes  England − Paul Casey and Justin Rose
2 15 Dec 2019 QBE Shootout
(with Kevin Tway)
−31 (58-67-60=185) 2 strokes Jason Kokrak and J. T. Poston

Results in major championships

Results not in chronological order in 2020.

Tournament 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Masters Tournament CUT CUT CUT T36 T2 CUT T20
The Open Championship T54 T53 T66 CUT T26 CUT CUT CUT
PGA Championship 77 CUT CUT 68 CUT T74 CUT CUT T39 T67
Tournament 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Masters Tournament CUT CUT CUT
U.S. Open CUT T30 CUT
The Open Championship T54
PGA Championship CUT T74 CUT CUT CUT
Tournament 2019 2020
Masters Tournament
PGA Championship T66
U.S. Open T43 T59
The Open Championship T16 NT
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" = tied
NT = No tournament due to COVID-19 pandemic


Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 1 0 1 1 2 10 3
PGA Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 16 7
U.S. Open 0 0 0 0 0 0 13 6
The Open Championship 0 0 0 0 0 1 10 6
Totals 0 1 0 1 1 3 49 22
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 4 (2019 U.S. Open – 2020 U.S. Open, current)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 1

Results in The Players Championship

Tournament 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
The Players Championship CUT CUT CUT CUT T42 CUT CUT T44 T27 CUT
Tournament 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
The Players Championship T39 T26 CUT 71 T38 T6 T30 T35
Tournament 2020 2021
The Players Championship C T67
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the halfway cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
C = Cancelled after the first round due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Results in World Golf Championships

Tournament 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Match Play R64 R16 R64 R32 R64 R64 R64
Championship T21 T41 T35 T70 T53 T28
Invitational T51 T2 T28 T36 T2 T27 T45 T48
Champions T45 T29
  Top 10
  Did not play

QF, R16, R32, R64 = Round in which player lost in match play
"T" = Tied
Note that the HSBC Champions did not become a WGC event until 2009.

Team appearances


  • Palmer Cup (representing Great Britain & Ireland): 1998 (tie)


  • World Cup (representing South Africa): 2002, 2003 (winners), 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009
  • Presidents Cup (International Team): 2007
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 01 Aug 2021. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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