We don’t want to like him. He’s known for his temper and abrasive disposition. But shockingly, he’s actually a nice guy (which I sensed from my brief interaction with him at The Barclays). He’s also playing some good golf this season. Despite being ranked 11th in Presidents Cup points and winning the Byron Nelson Classic, Greg Norman passed him up as a captain’s pick. Instead, he chose the inexperienced Ryo Ishikawa and the slumping Adam Scott.
After taking the first-round lead at the BMW Championship, he was asked his feelings on Norman’s decision to pick Scott. He only had kind words:
Adam is definitely one of the top five players in the world. He does have a wealth of experience. He’s a fantastic player. You know, the good news is he will be fresh and ready to go. And you know what, Adam, really, he’s a fantastic player, and I wouldn’t want to play him in match play because he’s a tough player. I’m sure he’ll go out there and put his best foot forward and try and help the team as much as he can. I have no problems with any decisions made.
For someone who should be bitter, he is surprisingly gracious. In fact, he takes personal responsibility, mentioning he hadn’t been playing well in the past few weeks, so he can’t complain.
But, he is disappointed that Norman didn’t have the courtesy to pick up the phone and offer an explanation. He said, “There was not a single conversation or a single phone call, period.” Maybe there’s a hint of passive aggressiveness to his tone, but can’t really blame him.
Fred Couples, the US captain, personally called Brian Gay to let him know. No, he didn’t have to, but it showed class that he made the gesture.
Well, Sabbatini isn’t going to harp on it, or at least he’s not showing it. He’s focused on the task at hand and letting his play speak for itself — he’s T3 after two rounds. For what it’s worth, a win would be sweet redemption.
[Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images]