When the Memorial tournament posted this note on its website: "As of May 24th Rory Sabbatini has withdrawn from the field of competitors," it raised suspicion that the suspension had begun. Sabbatini, while not confirming the suspension, said nothing Friday at the HP Byron Nelson Championship to make anyone think otherwise.
"When I entered the field [for the Memorial] I wasn't qualified for the [U.S.] Open, and now that I am qualified for the Open, I feel like I need some time off, and I think the way I played today proved that," Sabbatini said after shooting an 82 in the second round at TPC Four Season Resort Las Colinas when asked why he was a WD at the Memorial. Asked when he would play next after the U.S. Open, Sabbatini said: "I'll play again next at the British Open.
Sabbatini, one of the more volatile players on tour, had a verbal run-in with a teenage volunteer at the Northern Trust Open at Riviera in Los Angles in February and another verbal altercation, this time with player Sean O'Hair in New Orleans in April. Famously, Sabatini waked off the green before Ben Crane finished playing the hole, in a protest over slow play, and in a poll of players was voted their least-favorite playing partner.
When Sabbatini won the Honda Classic earlier this year he said he and his wife, Amy, had talked about Rory modifying his behavior to set a better example for his children. Ironically, those words were spoken between the Northern Trust incident and the New Orleans incident.
-- Ron Sirak