Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Rory Sabbatini Winning Might Be Best Thing for the Tour
I probably agree with everything you're thinking when you read the words "Rory Sabbatini," but the guy being successful might just be the best thing for the PGA Tour that is lacking a Joker to the Tiger Woods Batman.
Over the Tiger Dominance Tenure we've seen very few villains to the perfect, polished Tiger.
Fuzzy Zoeller was the bad guy after Tiger won the 1997 Masters with the racist comments about his potential Champions Dinner pick of collard greens.
Sergio Garcia was a mini-bad guy during the 1999 PGA Championship, one of the few tournaments ever that Tiger wasn't the favorite in the gallery.
Vijay Singh (and caddy) wore the cap (literally) in 2000 with the infamous "Tiger Who" during the Presidents Cup.
Of course, Phil Mickelson has always been the second fiddle, even commenting he was flying it by Tiger because of the inferior Nike equipment.
Anyway, Sabbatini is that bad guy, the one that doesn't just mind taking all the bad press, but embraces it. When he speaks up against Tiger, the media does a collective gasp, but at least it gives people (including me) something to write dogging Tiger that we don't normally say. Any rivalry is good for sports and this is pretty much the only one going on right now. Think about it - Rory is the only golfer on tour not riding Tiger's jock like the Texas Giant at Six Flags. As much as I love Tiger, it's a little refreshing.
Sabbatini won this tournament last year and even though he isn't having a stellar year by his standards (27th on the FedEx Cup list) once you win on a golf course you're pretty much comfortable at all times going back.