Bubba Wins! Now He Must Avoid Parking Lot Fights

ESPN.com has posted a fun survey of 103 PGA Tour pros, including 21 major winners from 20 different countries, not including Florida.

The result that's getting all of the attention, deservedly so, involves the defending Masters champ Bubba Watson. Let's just say he trounces Patrick Reed and cagey vets Robert Allenby and Rory Sabbatini in the most-likely-to-get-beat-up-without-anyone-coming-to-his-rescue division.

ESPN.com surveyed 103 tour pros, 21 of which were major champions, and gathered their thoughts on myriad topics. The players came from 20 different countries and their answers are below.

Other polls of note: top bucket list course (Cypress Point edges Pine Valley, no doubt because one is almost fully restored and one isn't...you know how discerning these pros are.)

And big congrats to Kevin Na for winning player-they'd-most-like-to-see-penalized division.

You've earned it big guy!

Tiger and Rory Not Making Eye Contact As Valentine's Day Approaches

Bob Harig at ESPN.com has all the juicy details:

Tiger Woods made his 2008 debut at Torrey Pines, predictably shooting up the leaderboard at a place where he has won the Buick Invitational five times, including three in a row.

And there alongside him in third place, two shots behind tournament leader Troy Matteson, is Tiger's 2007 punching bag, Rory Sabbatini. Safe to say, they didn't exchange New Year's greetings when they passed each other in the Buick media center.

In fact, they didn't even acknowledge one another.

Their relationship is as frosty as the temperature, which caused a run on scarves, mittens and sweaters. It didn't keep Woods from picking up where he left off 130 days ago, when he put the finishing touches on an outstanding 2007 season by winning the Tour Championship and the inaugural FedEx Cup.

Sounds like I left San Diego a day too early: 
Players such as Fred Couples and Mark Calcavecchia were not kind, with Couples saying, "It's just not right," and Calcavecchia adding, "Rory is Rory." Woods was none too pleased, either. "I'd like to try and get to the bottom of it when we're done here," Woods said on Dec. 16. "And we'll see what happens."

Apparently, Woods never got to the bottom of it.

"I haven't talked to him about any of it," Woods said Thursday, just minutes after walking past Sabbatini without saying a word, without making eye contact. "It is what it is."

Couples was among those who suggested that Sabbatini donate his $170,000 to the Tiger Woods Foundation, but on Wednesday Sabbatini visited a nearby naval base, where he gave the money to the United Through Reading Foundation. The organization provides a video program for military personnel to keep in touch with their families.

"It's unfortunately one of those things that we seem to forget about and we take for granted out here on the tour," Sabbatini said. "And we were just fortunate that we were able to contribute to it."

When asked if he donated the winnings from Woods' event, Sabbatini said: "That is what the situation was. Unfortunately, the media took a lot of criticism towards me after the event, and in that situation I was there, I was tired, and we thought about it and we thought we'd put it to some good use."

So does this mean if the media hadn't ragged all over Rory, that he wouldn't have made the donation? 

Rory Decides To Donate Target Winnings; Chooses Ultra Low-Profile Setting To Break The News...

...the Thursday Sprint Post-Game following round 1 of Buick Invitational play. Surely seen by hundreds, I was half asleep and only heard Kraig Kann noting that Rory Sabbatini was not seeking a high profile outlet for the vital announcement (and he found it!) that yes, after much painstaking deliberation and vigorous pleading from his agent, he was donating the $170,000 last place winnings from the Target World Challenge which he left so abruptly.

Apparently the full interview and in-depth profile of Rory will be airing this weekend on Golf Channel. Set your TiVos! 

Hawkins To Rory: You've Got A Friend

After this latest rendition of the "The Angry Golfer" column, I see James Taylor-Carole King style duet with John Hawkins and Rory Sabbatini perhaps opening the GWAA dinner at Augusta belting out a heartfelt rendition of You've Got A Friend:

When Sabbatini bailed out of last month's Target World Challenge with 18 holes to play, the anti-Rorys found their pigeon on a silver platter. No one seems to mind when John Daly quits on a tournament. Tour pros whip out lame excuses to withdraw from events all the time. We want these guys to be unboring, to speak their minds and show us some personality, then batter them like piñatas when they show their true colors or reveal a bit of candor. Call it the game's hypocritical oath.


Rory Mulling Target Winnings Charity Donation?

Tim Rosaforte notes on the Local Knowledge blog that Rory Sabbatini (or his agent whispering in Tim's ear?) is mulling a donation of his Target World Challenge winnings to charity.

As for the $170,000 he earned that week, look for him to donate it to a charity connected with the Wounded Warriors program.

Now, why would this take so long? Shouldn't Sabbatini have made this gesture already if it really was a sincere desire to reconcile a mess he made? 

Chopra Wins On Fourth Extra Hole; Rory's Shin Splints Apparently Better But He Won't Say

Mark Lamport-Stokes reports on Chopra's exciting win that gets him in the Masters.

Meanwhile, AP's Doug Ferguson tried to talk to Rory Sabbatini to find out if he would be returning his Target World Challenge last place check after his suspicious WD.

"I'm done talking to you guys," he said.

Well, you really aren't since you said something.

Approached a few minutes later at his locker, Sabbatini said, "I have nothing to say."

Not even about his change in golf equipment?

"I'll let my clubs do the talking," he said.

Good get by the Adams people! 

Rory's Courtesy Car Spotted!?

The La Habra branch of this web site's vast art department was passing by LAX and nearby Hawthorne's classy Bare Elegance en route to a Monday evening church service when he caught a glimpse of this Target World Challenge-logoed courtesy car parked in front of the club.

Why, could that be Rory Sabbatini's lost courtesy car, ditched after the great one couldn't get an airport ride following his WD from the Target World Challenge? You be the judge...








Add A Courtesy Car To Rory's Stolen Loot!

Rory's right, the media is to blame for his lousy reputation. They report his most basic activities!

From Doug Ferguson's story we learn he not only made off with $170,000, but also seems to have taken his Buick Enclave to LAX without telling anyone. Think he left it at the curb? Lot C? The In-and-Out parking lot?

A locker room attendant, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release information, said Sabbatini cleaned out his locker on Saturday afternoon and gave away sweaters and shoes. He told them he was headed to Hawaii, where he spends his Christmas vacation.

His agent, Bud Martin, said Sabbatini told him he withdrew because of shin splints.

``He had shin splints that were bothering him yesterday,'' Martin said after talking to Sabbatini on Sunday. ``He went home overnight and worked on them with his trainer, and they weren't getting any better. He said he wasn't going to risk it.''

Tournament director Greg McLaughlin wasn't informed until 8:30 a.m., although he had a hunch Sabbatini was leaving when he was checking out of the hotel and overheard the concierge trying unsuccessfully to book Sabbatini a limo for eight to get to the airport.

``We're disappointed that he withdrew,'' McLaughlin said. ``It's the first time in the history of the event that we've ever had a professional not complete four rounds of competition.''

By Sunday afternoon, McLaughlin still could not locate Sabbatini's courtesy car. Paul Casey said he saw the South African loading up the car in the hotel parking lot.


Rory's Shins Will Be Split If He Keeps This Up **

Karl MacGinty reports on Rory's latest brand-building moment.

Yet Rory Sabbatini was the talk of the Target World Challenge as he became the first player in nine years not to finish this end-of-season benefit for Tiger's Foundation. Sabbatini, who irked Woods a couple of times this year with controversial public comments, cleared out his locker on Saturday, saying he was heading for Hawaii, his usual Christmas retreat.

A third round 76 had left him in last place on 10-over and while PGA Tour officials announced he'd withdrawn for "personal reasons", Sabbatini's management later said he had shin splints.

Tiger simply shrugged when asked of Sabbatini's non-appearance but Fred Couples commented: "He (Sabbatini) is messing with the wrong guy."

Sabbatini's entitled to $170,000 for last place but Couples said "he should give that back to the Foundation."

Not our Rory!