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Monday, March 7, 2011

The Limerick Summary: 2011 Honda Classic

Winner: Rory Sabbatini

Around the wider world of golf: Brenden Pappas won the rain-shortened (only 36 holes!) Pacific Rubiales Bogota Open on the Nationwide Tour, and Inbee Park won the Daikin Orchid Ladies on the JLPGA.

Photo of Rory Sabbatini at Honda Classic
Click the photo to read the FoxSports version of the story.

I am pleased to present you with a Limerick Summary that isn't tape-delayed. NBC wasn't so lucky when it came to the actual tournament Sunday. PGA officials anticipated bad weather coming in, so they sent the players off early, in threes, on both sides. And they did get a little bit -- enough to cause a half-hour delay -- but the tourney finished on time.

And Rory Sabbatini got his sixth win, although not without a little scare. Don't people know a 5-stroke lead on the last day is supposed to be enough?

Apparently not. Both Jerry Kelly and Y.E. Yang, Rory's playing partners, decided to take a run at him. They nearly pulled it off, as Jerry finished only two strokes back and Y.E. just one.

There's not a lot to say about Rory's play. He didn't do anything fancy or heroic; he did that on Friday and Saturday when he posted rounds of 64 and 66. Rory just played smart -- and played the Bear Trap (15, 16 & 17) at 1 under.

OK, Jerry and Y.E. did too. But Rory didn't start the day 5 strokes back.

In fact, Jerry and Y.E. both birdied the 18th, which Rory didn't. But then again, Rory didn't need to. You could tell he knew it, too.

And that was perhaps the most memorable thing about this win -- there were no explosions, no temperamental outbursts. Despite his reputation, there wasn't a single storm ruffling the surface of Lake Sabbatini this week, not a single ripple to disturb its calm surface. Rory's been through some not-so-public problems of his own this past year -- his wife's difficult pregnancy, his own brush with cancer -- and it seems to have put things in perspective for him. If so, he may be ready to get out of his own way and take down a few more tournaments.

He's certainly got the game for it. He proved it this week.

So here's a limerick tribute to the South African beast who wasn't and the victory that was:
Though some say that Rory's a bear—
A firecracker waiting to flare—
He kept it together
Despite the bad weather.
Not once did he grumble or swear.

6 comments:

  1. Isn't golf a strange sport ? It seems that the bigger the lead, the harder it is to protect. We've seen David Toms and Justin Leonard nearly blow 7 shot leads on Sunday. As soon as we go into safe mode, the wheels come off, or someone puts it into high gear and we have to jerk ourselves back into gear - and that's usually not easy to do.

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  2. The Sunday tape delay finish was due to their no time left for a playoff if they finished like they do most weeks, at 6 pm. Sunset down here was at 6:25 yesterday. The Honda Classic final round has regularly been on tape delay for a decade.

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  3. I didn't realize that, Bill. I don't remember from one year to the next anyway, but I thought this was because of the bad weather. That was the impression they gave on TV, anyway.

    Court, I think that shows why "playing to win" isn't always the best mindset, especially when you've got the lead. Maybe it's better to just try and shoot the lowest score you can instead.

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  4. They may say its weather but as in 'If we get one of those 5 minute florida thunderstorms we are going to have to finish on Monday.' There is no margin of error with a 6 p.m. finish and mark my words, CBS is playing with dynamite by having The Masters end at 7 p.m. which they have been doing for over a decade. They're going to have a Monday finish one of these years either due to a slight weather delay or because a playoff goes more than two holes.

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  5. I should note that in one of the Faldo playoff wins, I think 89 vs. Hoch, they would have had to finish on Monday if it had gone past the 2nd hole of sudden death.

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  6. Thanks, Bill. I'll have to remember that on these Florida swing events.

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