Everybody has made me out to be a bad boy, so I'm just living it up. Rory Sabbatini
Not that he needs defending, but outspoken South African tour pro Rory Sabbatini gets a spirited defense from British Columbian Mike Valiquette this week on the heels of Sabbatini's victory at the Colonial. Sabbatini, you may recall is the tour pro who last year rudely walked away from Ben "Be Right There" Crane and this year took on Tiger, verbally at least, at the Players. Remember? He said, "I like the new Tiger!" just before making 7 at the 17th. Here's Mike:
__Some people formed an opinion of Rory from the Ben Crane incident. I was lucky enough to carry the scoreboard as a volunteer when Rory played with Mariyama and Beem at the Canadian Open at Shaughnessy in 2005. Most of the pros (not all) are very friendly to volunteers, to spectators and to their fellow competitors. Rory was "above and beyond ". He displayed his gratitude to us "vollies" but what was most noticeable was his attitude towards his peers. He cheered every good stroke that his two competitors made. He's a real pleasure to be around, and a great player. __
Thanks, Mike. I was some people who formed an opinion and here it is: I love Tiger, who says all the right things, does the right things, is a stand-up guy. But I also love Sabbatini, whether he's nice to the vollies or not. Tiger—hell, the tour—needs someone to stand up to the big guy once in a while. Lee Trevino did that for Jack, albeit with more humor than Rory, but it made Jack more human and made golf more fun to follow. Nobody was—or is— more respectful of Jack, but Trevino kissed no rings. I like Sabbatini's desire to stand up for himself....and all the other pros who aren't Tiger. He just needs to win like Trevino if he wants to do that.
(Photo: Darren Carroll)