Sabbatini to Tiger: Take that!

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Rory Sabbatini has four top-three finishes in his last six events.
Chuck Burton/AP

In six starts since early April,
Rory Sabbatini has been
one of the hottest players on
Tour, with a tie for second at the
Masters and ties for third at the
Nelson and the Wachovia.

Still,
Sabbatini has received the most
attention for what many saw
as a swipe he took at Tiger Woods.
After the two were matched in
the final round of the Wachovia,
which Woods won, the always
blunt Sabbatini noted that
Woods had not hit the ball that
well, adding that he “liked the
new Tiger.”

Told of the comments,
Woods quipped that he
had won as many events this
year (three) as Sabbatini had
won in his career.

So after Sabbatini put a cherry
on his sizzling six-start run
by winning the Crowne Plaza
Invitational at Colonial with a
15-foot birdie putt on the first
playoff hole, he was looking to
have a little fun. “Somebody might let Tiger know he needs
to win another one,” Sabbatini
said, before quickly adding, “I’m
kidding, of course.”

Sabbatini, who shot a
14-under 266 to get
into the playoff with
Jim Furyk and Bernhard
Langer, is used to
controversy, as he and
his equally feisty wife,
Amy, have had public spats
with Paul Casey, Ben Crane
and Nick Faldo in the last two
years.

“I’d prefer to be known
as a four-time winner who is
getting ready to win some
more,” Sabbatini said on
Sunday, although it’s hard to
believe he meant it as he flashed
one of his huge belt buckles,
showed off one of the 12 bright-red
Italian Stallion T-shirts
that Amy brought out on Sunday
and headed off to a
Mexican-themed bar,
where he planned to shave
the head of his caddie,
Kevin Fasbender, fulfilling
a bet made
earlier this year.

In
other words, it was
just another boring
night with Rory.

Nick Faldo announced his assistant
captains for the
2008 Ryder Cup, and they were as notable for who
was left out as for who was chosen.

Paul McGinley and Jose Maria
Olazabal got the nod, which is a
bit odd since each is still playing
well and would seem to have a
good chance to make the team.

Meanwhile, two Cup stalwarts
who are considered likely future
captains, Sandy Lyle and Colin
Montgomerie, were passed over.

Faldo would only talk about
whom he chose but may have inadvertently
given a clue as to why
he skipped his two former rivals
while simultaneously giving them
a jab.

“It is very important that
they have a good rapport with the
whole tour,” Faldo said of his assistants.
“They are both wellseasoned
players as well as being
very well-liked and respected.”

With the British Open returning
to Carnoustie, Jean van de
Velde has been swamped by interview
requests — reportedly 300
and counting — so his agent is
considering only those for which
van de Velde will be paid. The
price he quoted one American
media outlet? A tidy $300,000.
That’s how you can be a loser
and a winner at the same time.

Suggested Woods Baby
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Roar E.