Filed under: PGA tour | Tags: adams golf, Sabbatini's switch to Plano-based company takes it to n
Sabbatini’s switch to Plano-based company takes it to next level
With Tiger tracks across his back, Rory Sabbatini has vowed silence. He told reporters last week he isn’t giving interviews about challenging Tiger Woods, or about his withdrawal from the Target World Challenge, or about anything else.
“I’ll let my clubs do the talking,” he said.
That’s fine with Plano-based Adams Golf. The equipment company makes the clubs that are doing the talking.
Having made its name primarily on game-improvement clubs, Adams is well represented on the Champions, LPGA and Nationwide Tours. Sabbatini’s signing headlines the company’s first foray onto the PGA Tour.
Adams also nabbed popular Australian Aaron Baddeley, Q-school graduate Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey of Golf Channel’s Big Break and Tour player Brad Elder of Dallas.
That’s a big statement by the little old equipment company from Texas.
“As we continue to grow, we figured we really need to venture onto the PGA Tour for the exposure, brand growth and all the fun and exciting and scary things that go with that,” said Chip Brewer, Adams’ president and CEO.
“You sit here and wonder if you need PGA Tour presence to go to the next level, and you can argue both sides. But the truth is nobody’s done it without it.”
Memo to Adams officials: Shoot a TV spot that starts with Sabbatini highlights. … Cut to a scene of reporters firing questions in a big scrum. … Zoom in on Sabbatini’s Adams golf bag. … Fade to words, “Letting our clubs do the talking.”
After Woods and Phil Mickelson, few players garner as much attention as Sabbatini. A Southlake resident, he has never shied from letting his opinion ring. For saying he wanted to go head-to-head against Woods and that Woods was “more beatable than ever” last year, Sabbatini received gobs of criticism. Of course, many of those writers criticize other players for not challenging Woods.
Sabbatini is also coming off his best season. He won the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial and posted nine other top-10s. He was the only player to finish in the top 10 in all four FedEx Cup playoffs.
A four-time winner on Tour, Sabbatini was renegotiating with Nike when he made the switch. He knew some of Adams’ tour reps and liked the Adams Idea a3 irons, Brewer said.
“He’s one of the top players in the world, and he moved to our brand of equipment for the right reasons,” Brewer said. “He likes our people and our product because he thought it was the best thing for him professionally.”
As part of the deal, Sabbatini is wearing the Adams hat, carrying the Adams staff bag, using the Idea a3 irons, an Idea Pro hybrid and the Insight driver. Perhaps most important for Adams was getting a top Tour player who uses game-improvement irons instead of blades.
Baddeley, a two-time winner, had been with MacGregor. He is wearing the Adams hat, carrying the staff bag and using two Adams fairway woods. He is experimenting with other Adams clubs.
In addition to its new lineup, Adams opened the season with the top count among hybrids at the Mercedes-Benz Championship, according to the Darrell Survey. And winner Daniel Chopra used an 18-degree Idea Pro hybrid.
For Adams, that says a lot.
Filed under: PGA tour
Looking for More Ladybugs in 2008
As 2007 began, I asked myself, “How will we ever live up to the success of last year?” Rory had his career best season in 2006 and I worried he might put too much pressure on himself to back it up. Anybody in this business knows success in golf depends so much on a player’s state of mind.
My worry was unnecessary, because little did I know that 2007 would be the Year of the Ladybugs …
Both of the past two seasons were extremely successful. Emotionally different, but equally gratifying.
In 2006, Rory played so well on the West Coast he punched his ticket to Maui (the Mercedes Championship for tournament winners) in the second month of the season. Talk about weight off your shoulders.
We pretty much coasted through the rest of last year, though, just going through the motions each week. Airport, golf course, hotel … or RV, golf course, RV … and then off to another city to do it again. Maybe we got a little lax but we knew we were headed to Maui, where we like to spend the holidays before starting the next season, without a care in the world.
Fast forward to this year. Rory had 10 Top 10 finishes, a 2nd at The Masters, a first-ever hole-in-one (with me on the bag – at The Masters Par-3 event), as well as a playoff victory at Colonial. Getting the “W” is what it’s all about and, after being close so many times this year, Rory was ready to close the deal. It took longer than he hoped, but when it happened you could just see the satisfaction in his face. He is the consummate competitor.
Sabo might not have been the first to kiss the FedExCup trophy (come to think of it, Tiger didn’t kiss it either, did he?), but Rory was the only player to finish in the Top 10 at all four playoff events.
Speaking of which, we are still not sure about the new point system. Honestly, we didn’t really understand how it worked (as many players concurred toward the end of the season). Had Rory been playing poorly, we would have not bothered to even try to understand the system. We got the same memos as everyone else did early in the year — it just seemed too complicated to try to comprehend. But once we won, we needed to understand what our chances were of winning the big prize.
One thing we have learned is that playing really well will not shorten your season; it actually gets longer. Now that the Presidents Cup is over, Rory is gearing up for the HSBC World Match Play at Wentworth in England (October 11-14). Shortly after we will travel to South Africa and Australia for more international tournaments. Finally, Rory will play in Tiger’s Target event just before heading to Maui for the holidays. He will have three weeks off from competitive golf before the Mercedes Championship.
I am not really a superstitious person, but this year I experienced a phenomenon that just might be the luck of the lady. All season long, I have noticed a larger number of red spotted ladybugs. For whatever reason … global warming, my floral perfume, or maybe it’s just karma … the ladybugs decided to light upon me an uncountable number of times this season. I had almost forgotten about them until Rory had a 20-foot putt for eagle at the Tour Championship. Just before he hit the putt, my friend and I both had ladybugs float onto our arms. I kind of laughed (very quietly) remembering all the other times this had happened during the season.
Rory sank the putt, of course!
Filed under: On the road
Rookies at The Presidents Cup
As a big South Park fan, Rory is often heard singing “Blame Canada, Blame Canada.” But after The Presidents Cup in Montreal, I am certain the tune will sound more like the country’s anthem: “Oh Canada, Oh Canada!”
What an amazing and memorable week we spent there. We were lucky to have so much family share the event with us, but were so busy with team events we barely saw them. I wish someone would have let the rookies in on that scheduling secret, but nevertheless … it was spectacular!
I assume it would have felt better had we won, but it just didn’t seem like we lost. I was so proud of The International players. They went into the final round believing they still had a chance at rewriting history. They were the underdogs but had confidence they could come out on top.
As wives, and team cheerleaders, we felt a need to get the crowd on the side of our guys during the final round. Hence, the hockey jerseys you may have seen on the television broadcast. Mike Weir’s wife provided us with our “Team Canada” uniforms on Sunday, and boy did they incite the crowds!
The true winners at the Cup were definitely the spectators. Never have I seen more polite golf fans. They clapped at every great shot, international or American. Never have I seen a crowd so supportive of Rory. (I even joked that maybe we should consider moving to Canada!)
At the end of the day, silver medals in tow, we settled in our hotel for a relatively tame team dinner. Most everyone in the room spoke from their hearts and thanked Captain Player, who at one point played a song and danced with his wife Vivienne. The song was Willie Nelson’s famed tune, “On the Road Again.” And with that, the team began discussions of how to reclaim the Cup in San Francisco in 2009. Always the consummate competitors. Pull up your bootstraps, learn from your mistakes, and have a short memory! That’s why these guys are good!
P.S. Montreal — quelle ville merveilleuse!
Filed under: On the road
Amy’s pre-TOUR Championship Blog
Math was never my strong suit… but there I am, sitting outside a pizza joint in suburban Chicago on
Sunday evening, crunching the numbers … doing the math … recalculating … analyzing …
Most would just wait … wait for the media to spit out the numbers and hope they were correct. But waiting is not Sabbatini-esque. I needed to know before we left on a two-hour flight to “Hot-lanta.” (Our first-date was in Atlanta, but that’s another story.)
Finally, as our entourage inhaled the last slice of deep-dish pie, I gave them the good news: ”It’s possible!”
To win the FedExCup, we have to win The TOUR Championship and Tiger has to finish outside 12th.
As I told Rory this, he kind of chuckled and said, “So you mean we have to break his legs and steal his clubs?”
Obviously, Rory was playfully acknowledging the huge task ahead of him. He wants to be Number One, and to do that he must beat Number One.
It wasn’t long ago Vijay climbed to that spot. Anything is possible with a lot of hard work and a little luck.
Rory has climbed to Number 10 this week in the rankings, and he is working harder than ever. I reminded him exactly what that means: “Rory, at this moment, there are only nine guys in the whole world better than you at your job.”
Sabo is pretty tired. Playing eight out of nine weeks will wear you down. He spent most of Monday lounging on the couch at our friends’ house in Atlanta … however trainer Jeff Banaszak managed to get a workout session out of him. (We have just hired Jeff on fulltime.)
We were glad to learn they would be opening practice rounds after all this week. It’s a tragedy that the season-ending finale will be played on less-than-perfect greens because putting on irregular surfaces can bring a greater element of luck into a tournament. The good news is everyone is in the same boat.
There are only five guys who have a mathematical chance to win the Cup. That means we have a 20% chance of winning $11 million plus (the $1.26 million TOUR Championship first prize and the $10 million FedExCup bonus).
We have a pretty raucous crowd coming in for this event and I can’t wait.
Regardless of the outcome, this week is just whipped topping on the ice cream of a great season. I’d love to finish with $11 million chocolate sprinkles on top … and Rory as the 1st ever FedExCup Champion.
You must always hope! Now that’s Sabbatini-esque!