RORY MARIO TREVOR SABBATINI
Rory Sabbatini was born in Durban, South Africa, and has Italian, Scottish and Irish ancestry. He started playing golf at age 4, but concentrated on it from age 12. He attended DHS from 1989 – 1993 after which he was recruited by the University of Arizona. He turned professional in 1998 and joined the PGA Tour in 1999. He was the youngest member of the tour that year.
During the first decade of the 2000s, Sabbatini had five PGA Tour wins; he finished 2006 placed 12th on the money list. In September 2007, he reached the top 10 of the world rankings for the first time, He spent 21 weeks in the top-10 between September 2007 and March 2008, with a high of 8th.
Sabbatini tied for second at the 2007 Masters Tournament and the 2007 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. He won the Par 3 Contest at the 2008 Masters Tournament.
Sabbatini has represented South Africa in the World Cup six times and won the event with Trevor Immelman in 2003.
In his first Presidents Cup appearance in 2007, Sabbatini had a 0–3–1 record, as the International team was defeated by the United States team.
In May 2009 Sabbatini captured his fifth PGA Tour title by winning the HP Byron Nelson Championship by two strokes over Brian Davis. He broke the tournament record for scoring with a score of 269 (−19), beating the previous record of 270 (−18).
In March 2011 Sabbatini won his sixth PGA Tour Title at The Honda Classic with a one stroke victory over South Korea’s Yang Yong-eun. Sabbatini entered the final round with a five-stroke lead over the rest of the field, helped by a course record-equaling 64 on day two. He started his final round in solid fashion with an early birdie at the 3rd hole, however as the round progressed, he made bogeys at the 9th and 14th, meaning that Yang was able to cut that lead to just one, with a spectacular tee shot on the par-three 15th that landed 18 inches past the pin. On the next hole though, Sabbatini holed a clutch birdie putt to tighten his grip on the title and played out the 17th and 18th in even-par to hold on for a one stroke victory. This win also secured him a place at the 2011 Masters Tournament.
On 15 December 2019, Sabbatini won the QBE Shootout with partner Kevin Tway.
In early 2019, Sabbatini changed his citizenship from South Africa to Slovakia, the home country of his wife and stepson. Sabbatini’s wife’s cousin is the vice president of the Slovak Golf Association. Initially, there was speculation that the move was made in order for Sabbatini to qualify for the 2020 Olympics, but he said it was to help grow the game in that country. The Olympics use the OWGR (Official World Golf Ranking) for qualification and the 201st-ranked Sabbatini would not have qualified for South Africa with ten others ahead of him. Sabbatini also has a UK passport and US citizenship.
Sabbatini’s citizenship changes earned him the nickname “The Boy From Bratislava” from golf writer and Shotgun Start podcast host Brendan Porath.
Sabbatini won six times on the PGA Tour between 2000 and 2011 and was runner-up in the 2007 Masters. He spent 21 weeks in the world top-10 in late-2007 and early-2008, with a high of 8th.
Sabbatini won the silver medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics.