Fort Worth resident Rory Sabbatini has withdrawn from next week’s Memorial Tournament, citing fatigue after posting a second-round 82 to miss today’s cut at the HP Byron Nelson Championship in Irving.
Sabbatini has played the last four events in the wake of a May 4 report by The Associated Press, citing unnamed sources, that Sabbatini could soon be assessed a 30-day suspension from the PGA Tour because of inappropriate on-course conduct. Sabbatini did not mention disciplinary measures as a reason for next week’s withdrawl but he confirmed after today's round that his next two tournaments will be the U.S. Open and the British Open _ two events not sanctioned by the PGA Tour.
That means any suspension handed down by tour officials would not be valid at either of those major championships. The PGA Tour does not announce disciplinary measures, so any official confirmation would have to come from the player.
Sabbatini, who received an exemption into the U.S. Open field on Monday, said his status as a U.S. Open entrant removed the desire to compete at Memorial, a tournament in Dublin, Ohio that is followed by a U.S. Open qualifier in the same metropolitan area on the Monday after the final round.
“The only reason I was going to play was because I had to qualify for the Open. Now, I don’t have to,” Sabbatini said, reflecting on his reason for dropping his name from the Memorial commitment list. “After the way I played today, I definitely know I need some time off.”
Asked about his upcoming schedule, Sabbatini said: “I’ll play the (U.S.) Open and then I’ll be playing the British Open.”
Dates for the U.S. Open are June 16-19. Dates for the British Open are July 14-17. The PGA Tour sanctions five events that Sabbatini said he will bypass between now and the British Open: Memorial (June 2-5), FedEx St. Jude Classic (June 9-12), Travelers Championship (June 23-26), AT&T National (June 30-July 3) and the John Deere Classic (July 7-10).
Based on the AP report, Sabbatini has had two incidents of inappropriate on-course conduct this season, most recently a profanity-laced argument with Sean O’Hair during the Zurich Classic of New Orleans (April 28-May 1).
_ Jimmy Burch