Rory Sabbatini
44-Year-Old Golfer
2019–20 Fantasy Outlook
The resurgence of Sabbatini was one of the more surprising stories from this past season. Sabatini earned over $2 million this past season, something he hadn't accomplished since 2011. Actually, he never came close to that mark in the seven seasons in-between. While it was a great story, the reality is, Sabbatini turns 44 this season and he probably can't play any better this season than he did last season. Read Past Outlooks
Searching for a top-10 in 2019-20
March 28, 2020
Sabbatini has competed in 12 events in the 2019-20 PGA Tour season and has a best result of T21.
Sabbatini has done a good job of making nine of 12 cuts but has been unable to make a charge up near the top of the leaderboard after recording five top-10 finishes last season. The putter has let him down as he ranks 160th in SG: Putting after finishing 60th in that category last season.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Last season was Sabbatini's 20th on the PGA Tour and although he's had some low points over the years, for the most part, he's been a pretty productive golfer. Not so much in recent seasons, but even though he's well past his prime, Sabbatini has lost his card just once since his rookie season of 1999. Sabbatini once lived above the $2 million mark, but he hasn't been there since 2011. While he has $1.5 million upside in him, at 42, that's about the best he can hope for now. As such, there's just not enough upside to justify a salary cap selection this season.
Entering the Wyndham Championship, the last event of the regular season, Sabbatini had little hope of retaining his card for the upcoming season, but a surprising T4, put him just inside the line. Sabbatini has been on the PGA Tour so long that he probably has a few exemptions saved up, but it's always nice not having to go into that bag until you have to. Though he came through in the clutch last season, he simply does not have much upside left. As such, he's not a great salary cap option this season.
Sabbatini regained his card via the Tour finals, but if he hadn't made it, he was expected to use his one-time top-50 career money list exemption. But that doesn't mean you should have him on your team.
Sabbatini is in the rare group that can claim over $4 million in earnings in one season on the PGA Tour, but he hasn't shown that form for quite a while. He's topped the $2 million mark as recently as 2011, but he hasn't sniffed it since. 2011 was also the last time he won on the PGA Tour. Sabatini still has some game left in him, but he really hasn't been much of a factor over the past three years. As such, he's not a great option in salary cap leagues this year. He should be drafted though, albeit in the later rounds.
Sabbatini isn't the player he used to be and his upside is limited now, but he should near the end of the 2013 season that he still has some game left. Is it enough to justify a pick in a salary cap league -- probably not, but he's got some value in a draft league and should go in the 60-70 range.
Sabbatini has six career PGA TOUR victories, the most recent coming in 2011, so why was it not a surprise to see him fall to little more than $1 million in earnings last year? Because that's what he does. Sabbatini has always been an up-and-down player, but instead of ebbs and flows within the season like most golfers, Sabbatini's highs and lows go from year to year. Odds are he'll improve his earnings this season, but he's a risky proposition at almost any price. Sabbatini should go in the ninth round in draft leagues.
The further we get from the 2007 season, the more it seems that Sabbatini's performance that year was the exception, rather than the rule. During that season, Sabbatini earned more than $4.5 million and compiled six Top-3 finishes. Since that season, Sabbatini has spent some time in $2-million territory and some time significantly lower than that. Of the golfers who finished in the Top 30 last year, Sabbatini might be the hardest to figure. We've seen the best he can offer, and we've probably seen the worst. It would appear as though Sabbatini doesn't have the game to reach the number he set in 2007 and his upside is a bit limited now. He could still break $3 million, but the odds aren't good. It's more likely that Sabbatini finishes in the $2-million range again.
The last few seasons, Sabbatini has morphed from a consistent golfer into a hit-or-miss player. Last season, he had a runner-up finish at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and a fifth-place finish at the Barclays, but little before or after those events. Sabbatini earned more than $4 million in 2007, so we know the potential is there. And at a good price, he's certainly worth a serious look as one who is long off the tee and generally a strong putter.
It was only two seasons ago that Sabbatini played the best golf of his career and earned more than $4.5 million in winnings. Sabbatini's 2007 success was all but forgotten during a disappointing 2008 season, but he showed signs of improvement when he won the Byron Nelson and finished runner-up in New Orleans last season. Sabbatini's game lacked consistency last season, but he should be able to regain some of that fluidity if he's able to play with the same confidence he has shown in the past.
Sabbatini's fall was about as fast as his rise. Like Adam Scott, he could easily top his 2008 number in the first month or two of 2009. As such, Sabbatini is a tough player to pass on. In the final 2008 Official World Golf Rankings Sabbatini slipped to 34th from his 11th spot in 2007.
Sabbatini had a very solid year in 2007, though he'll be best remembered for his comments on Tiger Woods. Those comments showed a side of Sabbatini that might not exist for other players on tour. A side that says, "bring it on, you might be better than me, but I can still beat you." With that said, I am not sure anyone should challenge Tiger. If you feel that way, then just keep it to your self. Use it as motivation, but don't let the press hear you say it because then you've just motivated the best player on the face of the planet. As for 2008, expect continued improvement from Sabbatini, though it will be tough to do much better than last year.
Sabbatini started 2006 on fire. He gained a runner-up finish out of the gate, and backed that up a month later with another runner-up finish and a win at the Nissan Open. And then, he disappeared. To be honest, it wasn't much of a surprise. Sabbatini has been a streaky player since he joined the tour, yet last year his disappearing act was a little more frustrating than previous years because he was playing the best golf of his career. After his win in mid-February, he cracked the top 10 only once more the rest of the year. There's no reason to think 2007 will be much different for Sabbatini.
We see bounceback for Sabbatini in 2006. He's too good and too talented to be a $900,000 or so golfer like he was in 2005. Somehow he went for just $2 in the staff auction, showing just what a forgotten man he is. Think WAY back to 2004 when he won over $2.5 million. We think he's more that type of guy than what we saw last season. He'll win at least $1.2 million, with plenty more upside and you can probably get him cheap.
Last season for Sabbatini was much like every other year he has spent on Tour, up and down, top of the leader board one week, missing the cut the next. The only difference in 2004 was he had one more good week than bad. He seems to be slowly moving up the earning list by simply having one or two more good weeks each year. If the pattern stays the same, he'll do really well one week, then disappear the next. The question then becomes can he have two more good weeks in 2005? If so, he moves into the top 15 and possibly the top 10.
Rory definitely has the long game in order, now he just has to somehow fix a few other facets before he will be a threat to win a few times in the same season. Sabbatini is a guy that can fair very well up until Sunday, so until we see a better short game and mental game, anything over $2,000,000 in earnings appears to be a bit of a long shot.
More Fantasy News
Adds top-10 to resurgent season
August 4, 2019
Sabbatini shot a three-under 67 in the final round of the Wyndham Championship, putting him in a share of sixth place.
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Five top-10's in last eight starts
June 30, 2019
Sabbatini closed with a four-under 68 in the final round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic to grab a share of third place.
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Just misses sixth straight top-25
June 3, 2019
Sabbatini tied for 27th place at the Memorial Tournament after he shot a two-under 70 in the final round.
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Stays hot with T6 at Colonial
May 27, 2019
Sabbatini fired a three-under 67 on Sunday at the Charles Schwab Challenge to finish in a tie for sixth place.
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T5 at AT&T Byron Nelson
May 13, 2019
Sabbatini closed with a four-under 67 on Sunday to finish 17-under and tied for fifth.
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