SLOVAK OLYMPIC MEDALLIST SABBATINI WILL PLAY CZECH MASTERS AGAIN
Rory Sabbatini’s life and golf story would make for a very long book. The great news is that the 46-year-old Slovakian and native of Durban, South Africa, will write the next chapter of his story at the D+D Real Czech Masters in August. The Olympic silver medallist from Tokyo will repeat last year’s start and play at Albatross for the third time.
Sabbatini’s golf and life curriculum vitae is extremely varied. Just take the basic dates: he was born in South Africa, has Italian, Scottish and Irish ancestry, and holds both a United States and a United Kingdom passport. And to make matters worse, Slovak citizenship has been added to his globetrotting portfolio since December 2018.
In Sabbatini’s case, the winged phrase “cherchez la femme”, or look for the woman behind everything, applied without fail. In his case, that woman is Martina Štofánik, whom he married in 2014. A few years later, the idea of turning Sabbatini into a Slovak was born.
It happened. And last year, the native of Durban, South Africa, became a Slovak national hero when he brought home a sensational silver from the Tokyo Olympics.
His golf resume includes six PGA Tour victories, but the truth is that the last one, the Honda Classic, is dated March 2011. Last year, he narrowly missed out on the FedExCup by a single shot. But thanks to that, he was able to play at Albatross again. For the second time.
And compared to his first start at the Czech Masters in 2016, when he finished tied for 19th, he took a hit last year. He alternated great golf with worse moments and eventually finished with an overall score of -4 tied for 34th place.
“That’s golf, unfortunately. I played good golf, but I also made some mistakes. There were more than I would have liked. But the course is fantastic and suits my game,” Sabbatini said of his game and the course at Albatross a year ago.
This season hasn’t seen the 46-year-old Slovak in his best form either. He has made the cut ten times out of 17 tournaments on the PGA Tour to date, but has only made the top 10 once – finishing tied for 3rd at the Shriners Children’s Open. He is 151st in the FedExCup standings.
While his results this year haven’t particularly dazzled, he can still command attention. Most recently at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, where he hit a hole-in-one late in the second round and showed a terrific way to stay in the tournament over the weekend.
In short, Sabbatini knows how to get attention. And if not with golf, then with his “screw-ups”. Like the disqualification after he forgot to take off the three little reflective dots that players use to monitor club speed in practice at the RSM Classic. He didn’t realise his mistake until after he had played the hole and disqualification followed.
His tattoos are unmistakable. One of them – three interconnected L’s – has caused controversy, as it has been claimed that it is a sign of belonging to a white supremacist group. This, however, annoyed his wife Martina.