Rory Sabbatini

October 9, 2007, 8:13 pm
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!   


October 5, 2007, 3:00 pm
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!

Oh, Canada!