May
5
2011
Is Slow Play Anxiety to Blame for Sabbogate v.3.0?
By Conor Nagle under General

Sabbatini rage: is Mace the only deterrent?

Alex Miceli over at Golfweek has been building on Steph’s good work with regards to the Sabbatini/O’Hair confrontation and has begun to formulate a possible explanation for this week’s schoolyard falling out between the two. It probably won’t be a shock to hear it, given Sabbo’s controversial history on the topic, but it looks like a discussion between the two last week on the subject of slow play may have proven the catalyst for this week’s incendiary tete-a-tete.

“According to sources, Sabbatini spent much of last Thursday and Friday complaining about the speed of play. Eventually he asked O’Hair directly if he thought the speed of play was a problem and reportedly O’Hair said the problem was Sabbatini. Sources said O’Hair told Sabbatini that playing in a group with Sabbatini, a known speed-of-play advocate, was equal to a two-shot penalty for his playing competitors.

“Sources said no other words were spoken during the round. Two sources said the two confronted each other again in the locker room.”

The PGA Tour has reportedly begun to look into the matter, appending it to an ongoing investigation of Sabbatini’s on-course behaviour centred around his alleged verbal abuse of a teenage volunteer at Riviera earlier this year. This more developed account of events appears to carry with it more than a grain of truth, not least because it echoes the suspicions of Joe Ogilvie, but because it seems to draw on a number of disparate sources.

For his part, Sabbatini still seems content to claim that there was no confrontation in the first place, putting the story down to “crazy rumours” and “hearsay”. It’s a position rather definitively contradicted by the third member of the group, Pat Perez, who can’t see the two burying the hatchet anytime soon:

“I don’t think they will ever talk to each other again… It’s never good to get in the middle of two guys in a heated discussion, so I walked away.”

The PGA Tour has adhered to its policy of non-disclosure on discplinary matters and refused official comment.

[Article spotted by Shackelford]

Conor