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Monday
Jan162012

Vijay Manages To Do The Unthinkable: Makes Sabbatini A Sympathetic Character!

Okay for just a day anyway. Karen Crouse with the details of a row between hotheads Vijay Singh and Rory Sabbatini during round three of the Sony Open.

According to volunteers who said they witnessed the incident, Singh, just after missing a 6-foot par put on the first hole of his third round, swore at Doran for moving while he had lined it up. When Sabbatini spoke up in defense of Doran, Singh swore at him loudly enough for volunteer marshals near the gallery ropes to hear. Singh and Sabbatini continued to jaw at each other. A security volunteer, Alan Awana, said he had never seen anything like it in his more than two decades working on the tournament.

Mark Russell wisely told Sabbatini to take his case to Ponte Vedra...via email, kindly sparing some VP of listening to a whining millionaire.

Mark Russell, the PGA Tour vice president for rules, competition and administration, said Sabbatini complained about Singh’s behavior. He said he told him to send an e-mail containing “whatever he had to say” to the PGA Tour Competitions department.

After signing for a 69 and a 72-hole score of five-under 275, Sabbatini would not say whether he had acted on Russell’s advice.

“That’s between me and the tour,” Sabbatini said. He confirmed the facts of the story provided by the volunteers and said: “The only thing I told Vijay is whatever he was saying to my caddie is inappropriate. I was just sticking up for my caddie, who doesn’t deserve to be talked to in that manner.”

So to recap, we have Sabbatini feuds/spats/lingering tension with Vijay, Sean O'Hair, Ben Crane and the Tiger Woods Foundation. And for Vijay, we have, well bandwidth is limited...

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Reader Comments (25)

Against my better judgment, Geoff, I am going to challenge you on the notion (srsly?) that Vijay Singh qualifies as a "tour hothead." First, let's agree that among his peers, to the extent that anybody ever polls these kinds of things, Vijay is normally high on results favoring "Nicest Guy on Tour." Vijay has had a reputation for years of being one of the friendliest and most helpful of tour veterans when it comes to younger players. When Vijay was voted by the caddies as the one guy that they'd least like to work for, the comments were revealing. Most of the caddies indicated that they all thought he was a terrifically nice guy, and that the one and only reason they'd not wish to be his guy is because he spent so many interminable hours on the range.

I can think of a very few Vijay incidents, and I've wtinessed a couple. I've seen Vijay jawing with his delightfully uppity former caddy Davey Renwick. (Davey, a damn good caddy and one of the tour's great treasures, was the Rory Sabbatini of caddies.) And there was the incident in the Champions Locker Room at Augusta where Fred Couples had to step in between Vijay and Phil Mickelson, when Vijay rightfully complained about Mickelson's combination of long(?) metal spikes on Augusta's finicky bent greens and Mickelson's ridiculous routine of pracitce-putting in a couple of different places around the hole before striking his own two-footer. In that case, Singh was playing directly behind Mickelson and witnessed the whole sordid display. Couples' comment when Singh and Mickelson faced off in the locker room was reportedly aimed at Mickelson to the general effect; 'You've only been up here a year, and you're already starting fights...'

Vijay's been an awful victim of selectively bad press attacks going back to the Annika appearance at the Colonial. So, Geoff, I'm not sure if you're serious about "tour hothead" Vijay Singh, or if I am missing the larger joke.
01.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterChuck
I was going to leave a comment, but Chuck expressed my thoughts better than I ever could. Thanks, Chuck. And Geoff, his well-organized and thought-out comment deserves some response/discussion.
01.16.2012 | Unregistered Commenteraturner
Sorry, Chuck, but as someone who covered the tour for many years, I can dispute your claim. Vijay's nickname among media and players alike is one that can't be printed, but it is part of the lower half of one's anatomy.
01.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterGreg
As one who dislikes Sabbatini, let me express my even deeper contempt for Vijay. I don't know about the hotheaded comment - but Vijay qualifies as a general purpose all around ass.

Vijay's jerk tendencies go all the way back to Annika's inclusion in a Tour field - whining about the presence of a woman who might breathe his air.

The entire Allen Stanford episode is karma's payback to Vijay.

Little wonder the Tour pairs VS and RS together - why ruin two groups?
01.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterFan
Chuck. Just so you know, Vijay thinks he's better than you. I have no respect for a man who has no respect for anyone who doesn't play golf well enough to be on the PGA Tour.
01.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterFWIW
best quote was from Ernie when asked who would win a Vijay/Phil bout "Vijay, because he'd fight dirty". Ernie would not say that about an all Around nice guy.
01.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrian S
Great way to spend a holiday-arguing over which millionaire is the bigger douchebag.

and there are no "rory Sabbatinis" in the caddie yard--rory would be kicked out of any job that didnt involve driving a truck or have a completely objective standard for performance.
01.16.2012 | Unregistered Commentersmails
@FWIW Vijay doesn't think he's better than Chuck. He is Chuck. And aturner is probably one of Charley Moore's PR flaks.
01.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterEast End Golfer
No, actually Vijay is correct, FWIW. He IS better than me. Most people are. Geoff knows where to reach me, and it isn't Ponte Vedra Beach.
01.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterChuck
let the competitors at each other a bit

the caddy shouldn't have moved
rory could have told his caddy to be careful but don't worry you work for me and I'll protect you if needed
there was no need for rory to go to the caddies defense - vj was just pussed

I have seen vj candidly behind the scenes and he was super nice to the staff/security/workers at an event
01.16.2012 | Unregistered Commenterlighten up
It's all Tiger's fault...
01.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSari
Chuck,
As the security guards at Bay Hill if Vijay's a hothead.
01.16.2012 | Registered CommenterGeoff
Dont people get really aggressive and cranky when they are starting a steroid cycle...we may have figured Vijay's moods out....
01.16.2012 | Unregistered Commentersmails
They should pair Phil, Vijay, and Rory at the Masters this year. Phil can stomp around with metal spikes on Vijay's lines and Rory's caddie can jump around distracting him. And they can play behind Crane, O'Hair, and All Day.

And I agree, its all Tiger's fault.
01.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt
Inside the ropes info is very cool. Vijay is probably well liked but he is no doubt a moody dude who has had other run-ins. My question which I did not see in the article, did they shake hands after the round? Did caddies shake hands? I've got another semi-unrelated question: who was DJ talking about in the Golf Magazine article when he said there was only one a-hole on the PGA Tour? I always assumed Rory S???
01.16.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKevin
I was going to comment but I've been hanging with Matt Every and now I've forgotten what I was going to say. I wonder what's in the fridge...

Oh yeah, these guys are harshing my mellow.

It's still...
01.16.2012 | Unregistered Commentertigersfault
And here we go, off to a slow start but gaining quickly....2012 on Geoff Shack's site

love it
Step away from the Doritos and no one gets hurt! Anyway, this reminds me of several titanic spats I have witnessed between well known scientists. Who have all been better than the rest of us, btw. At science. Some of them are still working on the human thing, which is a puzzle they can't seem to solve.
VJ's cool to certain players but hates the media (maybe cos they always bring up the cheating "misunderstanding"?). Sabbo is just an @sshole who, saddest of all, doesn't even know he is one. His wife is a piece of work, too.
01.17.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAK47
VJ and Rory, like all professionals that are good at their job got that way because they had to have a strong mental belief. When you put two guys like that together...and one guy thinks that the other is disrespecting him (in this case Rory's caddy was moving w/in VJ's line of sight) then this kind of confrontation will happen from time to time. Part of competition and the emotions it brings out in all of us.

The one thing that's stands out is that this all happened on the FIRST green of the 3rd round...VJ must've woken up on the wrong side of the bed/mistress or something.
01.17.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
No biggy- Vijay probably signed for a score as if he'd made the putt anyway. "Once a cheater..."
01.17.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeaver
One thing is for sure. Three men stand on an island unto themselves. Tiger, Phil, and Vijay. They are the only three active PGA players with 30 wins or more. No one else is even close. I didn't realize this until this incident happened and then I was looking at Vijay's resume. I didn't know he was in such select company. He truly is one of the greatest.
01.17.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMark
Sabbatini's a diminutive, hot head who should be expelled from the PGA tour for numerous run ins with fellow golfers and the like.
01.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKramer
Vijay should go back to 7-11 for his old job.
01.19.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTin man
Rory Sabbatini is a giant douchebag no matter what way you look at it.
08.24.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRob

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