Golf: Rory Sabbatini

Former champions commit to HP Byron Nelson

March, 28, 2013
3/28/13
1:31
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HP Byron Nelson Championship officials announced Thursday that the past four Nelson Champions will be returning to TPC Four Seasons in May. Jason Dufner (2012), Keegan Bradley (2011), Jason Day (2010) and Rory Sabbatini (2009) have all committed to compete at the 2013 Nelson.

“We are proud of the continued successes and accomplishments of each of these HP Byron Nelson champions. They honor our tournament, our charity and the legacy of Byron Nelson by their loyalty and support,” 2013 tournament chairman Mike McKinley said in a release. “We are expecting an extremely strong field and their commitment to play in this year’s tournament will only add to the anticipation and excitement of another memorable championship.”

Former Texas Longhorn and Dallas Jesuit standout Jordan Spieth will also be playing after accepting a sponsor's exemption earlier this month.

The field will not be final until May 10. The Nelson will be played May 13-19 at the TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas in Irving.

Double bogey at 17 has Rory Sabbatini fuming

May, 26, 2012
5/26/12
1:14
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FORT WORTH, Texas -- Rory Sabbatini is not a player that hides his emotions well.

When the 2007 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial champion made a double bogey on No. 17 Saturday, his reaction wasn’t subtle.

Sabbatini pushed his tee shot on 17 far right of the fairway. It rolled down a concrete ditch and into a collection pond. His third shot after a penalty from 120 yards was on line, but caught a tree limb and dropped into the front bunker. While making his way to the green, Sabbatini backhanded his club into the brick base of a bridge.

Now he was staring at a severely uphill 25-yard bunker shot to a back left pin. When his explosion came up 14 feet short, Sabbatini fired his wedge in disgust as he left the sand.

Sabbatini was 2-under on his round with three holes to go, but a bogey at No. 16 and his exploits on No. 17 forced him to settle for a 1-over 71 and a score of 3-over for 54 holes.

Stock Report: Who's up, down for Colonial

May, 22, 2012
5/22/12
11:20
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FORT WORTH, Texas -- It's time for the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in Fort Worth, the second leg of this DFW double. So let's take a look at some players in the event that are trending up and down in our scouting report:
Streaking


STOCK UP

Jason Dufner: He's won twice in the last three weeks, including last week's HP Byron Nelson Championship and says he likes Colonial. The one problem: He's made one cut in three tries here.

Bob Estes: The Texan had a top-10 finish at Nelson over the weekend and followed it up by qualifying for the British Open at Gleneagles Country Club in Plano. Do the good vibes carry over to Colonial?

Dicky Pride: He nearly got himself in a playoff with Dufner at the Nelson and is still seeking his first win since 1994 (when he won his only Tour event). Pride has three top-7s this season and is feeling good. He hasn't played Colonial since 1995, when he missed the cut in his only appearance.
Slumping


STOCK DOWN

Rory Sabbatini: He's a local favorite and will have a big following at Colonial, but he's trending the wrong direction. Sabbatini has missed the cut in five of his last six events, including the Nelson. He has one top-10 this season and that was his first event of the year. The good news: He's a defending champion at Colonial, so he knows how to win here.

John Daly: He's played in three events and made two cuts, but he's never played well at Colonial. He's sure entertaining, but don't expect him to do much this weekend. In six Colonials, he's made the cut just once and finished 66th.

Y.E. Yang: The 2009 PGA Champion has missed his last two cuts and three of his last five rounds, he's shot 78 or higher. He's missed the cut all three times he's played Colonial.

Stock report: Who's up, down for Nelson

May, 15, 2012
5/15/12
9:11
AM CT
As the HP Byron Nelson Championship approaches, let's take a quick look at a few golfers on the rise the past few weeks and some that aren't trending as well as they'd like (among those in the Nelson field):

Streaking
STOCK UP

Matt Kuchar: He won The Players Championship and comes in feeling good. It's not easy to win in consecutive weeks, but Kuchar is playing well and tied for sixth at last year's Nelson. He's a threat this week.

John Rollins: Not a name you expected, was it? But if you're looking for a sleeper this week, Rollins isn't a bad choice. Of the eight cuts he's made, Rollins has finished in the top-25 seven times. So if he plays on the weekend, he's likely to find a way to get himself in the mix.

Adam Scott: His game is in good shape as he enters an event that he won in 2008. He's got the all-around game to survive windy conditions (and it seems that the wind has a tendency to blow for at least one or two rounds at TPC Four Seasons Resort at Las Colinas) and hoist the trophy again.

Slumping
STOCK DOWN

Rory Sabbatini: A local favorite (he lives in Fort Worth) -- he'll have his large cheering section as usual -- has made the cut in just six of his 13 events this season. He's missed the cut in four of his last five tournaments.

Y.E. Yang: A major winner who lives in Dallas, Yang has just one top-25 all season and missed the cut at The Players thanks to a first-round 80. That was, however, his first missed cut in seven events. He's due for a break through.

Keegan Bradley: This is relative, of course, but he missed two cuts before making it to the weekend at The Players. He has no top-25s in his last four starts, which for Bradley in the last year has to be considered a bit of a slump. Maybe defending his title at the Nelson is just what he needs to get his early-season form back.

HP Byron Nelson: Experts make picks

May, 25, 2011
5/25/11
11:12
AM CT


Each week during the PGA Tour season, ESPN.com's panel of experts share their insights into which players fit the criteria for our four categories below: Birdie Buster, Horse for the Course, Super Sleeper and Winner.

Our own Richard Durrett again joins the national prognasticators for this week's HP Byron Nelson Championship. Here are his picks:

Birdie Buster: Dustin Johnson
He has top 10s in his last two appearances at the Nelson and is a birdie machine. He's got the game to contend and win.

Horse for the Course: Nick Watney
He didn't play at last week's Colonial, but was tied for fourth at The Players Championship and has been steady all season. He's second on the Tour in all-around stats and can hit it far. That plays well at TPC.

Super sleeper: Brian Davis
He qualified for the British Open at Gleneagles Country Club in Plano, Texas, on Monday, so his game is in good shape. He was the runner-up in 2009 and has finished in the top-5 both times he's made the cut at the Nelson.

Winner: Rory Sabbatini
The local boy won here in 2009 with a course record and he had a solid showing at Colonial. Sabbatini won The Honda Classic earlier this year and will get plenty of support from friends and family.

To see who Bob Harig and Kevin Maguire like at the Nelson, click here.

Who to watch: Rory Sabbatini

May, 16, 2011
5/16/11
9:00
AM CT
Leading into the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial (and next week heading into the HP Byron Nelson Championship), we'll take a look at some players to keep an eye on during the week. Some of them have past success on the course, others are hot coming into the tournament or are just fun to watch, period. So here we go:
[+] EnlargeRory Sabbatini
AP Photo/David GoldmanThe sometimes controversial Rory Sabbatini has been a regular at Colonial, where he won in 2007.
Player: Rory Sabbatini
Age: 35
College: Arizona
Best finish at Colonial: Champion in 2007
Best finish in 2011: Won the Honda Classic
Why he's one to watch: Sabbatini, who lives in Fort Worth, is playing well coming into the event. ...He won the Honda Classic earlier this season and was third at the Wells Fargo Championship a few weeks back. ...You never quite know what Sabbatini may do on the course, as this report of an apparent argument with Sean O'Hair shows. ...Sabbatini always has a large cheering section with him on the course and they are easy to identify, wearing shirts to show their support.
Key stat: Sabbatini was eighth in the FedEx Cup standings heading into the Players Championship this past weekend.
Fun fact: He started playing golf at 4 years old in South Africa.

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