Olympic silver medallist Rory Sabbatini has had his week cut short at the RSM Classic after he was deemed to be in breach of the rules of golf.
The Slovakian, who birdies five of his last six holes on the Plantation Course for an opening 68, had failed to remove stickers from one of his clubs that were being used as a training aid in the lead up to the tournament.
Rory Sabbatini DQ from The RSM Classic due to a violation of Rule 4.1. Sabbatini had a non-conforming external attachment to the face of a club he used during the round.
— PGA TOUR Communications (@PGATOURComms) November 18, 2021
In a statement, the PGA Tour said: “Rory Sabbatini DQ from The RSM Classic due to a violation of Rule 4.1. Sabbatini had a non-conforming external attachment to the face of a club he used during the round.”
Sabbatini called the ruling on himself after realising he forgot to remove the reflective stickers used in practice to help track club head speed.
“There are stickers, reflective stickers. They are tiny,” John Munch, PGA Tour senior tournament director of equipment standards told Golf Channel.
“The players use them to track club head speed when they practice and he just didn’t take them off.”
Could you imagine what Sabbatini would’ve shot if all his clubs had stickers on them? When I was a junior I stuck a shiny Robbie Fowler Merlin Premier League sticker on my Spalding driver and I swear I haven’t hit the ball as far since.
Thankfully we don’t have to consider the ramifications. The game of golf will live to fight another day.