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June 1, 2012

Rory Sabbatini


CHRIS REIMER:  Our second‑round leader here at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance, Rory Sabbatini.  I think you mentioned outside it's been a trying year.  It's been a while since you had two solid rounds in the 60s.  Talk about what it feels like, and obviously you're in great position going into Saturday.
RORY SABBATINI:  Yeah, obviously it's definitely been a challenge over the past couple months.  Rick and I have been doing a lot of work to try and improve my swing overall and my consistency and that.  It's been frustrating, the fact that for a couple weeks now, it's definitely felt like things have been there but just really haven't been putting the numbers up.  Ultimately golf is a game of numbers, so it doesn't matter how you hit it, it's how you score.  So in that sense it's been frustrating, and it's great to finally see a little bit of reward for the work that we've put in.
CHRIS REIMER:  Is there one thing in particular that's kind of been holding you back or a combination of things?
RORY SABBATINI:  It's just been a combination of things, really we've put in some long hours and just really working to try and really improve that consistency, and it is showing.  You know, it maintained out there well under the conditions today, and that's obviously‑‑ in the tough conditions you really see the rewards for the time you put into it.

Q.  You didn't play well at the Nelson; you played with two players that were in contention and you were done pretty quickly.  How would you explain playing so well just two weeks after that?
RORY SABBATINI:  You know, it's just kind of funny; golf is such a game of‑‑ it's just such a mental game in general, and it is a game of confidence, and I have been struggling.  I was down on myself and I was down on my game.  Colonial I finally‑‑ on Sunday I was playing awfully and managed to turn things around over the last eight holes, and I think that kind of maybe flicked a switch on for me and kind of reminded me of what I can do.
So coming into this week, I was definitely a little more adamant and a little more positive about my game, and it's just‑‑ it's all so fortuitous.  This is a golf course I've always felt comfortable on, it kind of fits my eye, and I enjoy playing here.

Q.  How would you best explain how poor play affects your attitude since going through a difficult sense in the spring?
RORY SABBATINI:  Well, I think one thing, it's definitely shown me I have to be a little more patient out there.  There's nothing that's going to get achieved in an instant; you've got to make sure that you take your time and just make sure that you continue to run the process, and ultimately things will change.
Yesterday I had a pretty awful ball‑striking front nine and managed to turn things around on the back nine and kind of figured out what was going on and managed to turn it around.
Today the front nine, never really got anything going, kind of struggled a little bit again, and then back nine it just came down to just being patient with the two rounds, and ultimately I think that's been the toughest lesson for me to learn.

Q.  There's another big name obviously on the leaderboard, Tiger Woods.  When you're coming out of a bit of a mini‑slump and you're trying to break through, is it daunting to see now he's coming back too and he's on the upswing?
RORY SABBATINI:  No, no.  Obviously it's great to see him playing well.  There's a lot of good names on that leaderboard.  Ultimately I'm not worried about what he's doing or anyone else is doing.  I'm focused on myself.  Ultimately it comes down to the challenge inside me, and that's what I've got to focus on.  It was a trying day out there today, and I managed to stay patient.  That's all I can do.  I can't control what other people are going to do out there, I've just got to go out there and really just try and focus on what I'm doing.

Q.  As just a quick add‑on to that, I know in the past you've played with him in final rounds.  I know this is the Saturday you're not playing with him, but what did you learn from that experience, and how would it be different if you were matched up again with him coming down the stretch?
RORY SABBATINI:  Well, I guess the biggest lesson I learned was be careful what you say because the media will turn it on you.

Q.  Obviously you had a really late start with the weather delay and just where you were placed as far as groups.  Talk about what you did before the round to stay mentally sharp for today.
RORY SABBATINI:  I watched the Bob Marley movie, great life lesson.  I've actually always loved his music, and I've known a lot about him, but just really to see his attitude towards life and just his attitude in general is admirable and something that all of us could only aspire to be.

Q.  Some of the guys that finished this morning said that they were glad that they got their round in when they got it in and they wouldn't have to play out in that wind this afternoon, and Tiger said something along the lines, that it really proves to yourself when you're in control of the game when you can control your ball in conditions like this.  How satisfying was it for you to be able to shoot this round in the type of wind that you had to shoot it in?
RORY SABBATINI:  Oh, it's very satisfying.  Obviously to go out there, knowing that the course was going to play longer, you know, with the wind definitely posing quite a significant challenge out there.  It's kind of a little mixed both, though, because the greens were soft today, so it did give you an opportunity to be aggressive to a few of the pins that yesterday we wouldn't have been able to do.
But overall just to go out there and to know that I managed to execute shots, and we stuck to our game plan.  Basically when we missed we knew we were going to miss it, and that's the key out there to being able to control where you're going to miss the ball at.  We basically just kept the ball in play all day, and that's the challenge out there, and we did that very well, and I'm very, very excited, very content with the way that things went.

Q.  How prepared were you clothes‑wise for the change of season today?  Did you have the right stuff or did you have to scrounge some stuff up at the last minute?
RORY SABBATINI:  Oh, no.  As my wife will tell you, I travel with what looks like a coffin.  It's got a little mixture of everything.  It's got my hats, got golf shoes, got all sorts of stuff.  No, I'm always prepared.  You never know what you're going to face out here.  Mother Nature, she can definitely throw some curve balls at you.  I'm just happy that she only throws wind and some cold at us and doesn't throw beamers at our head or something like that like some baseball players get to do.

Q.  Any pivotal shots today or anything that kept the round going?
RORY SABBATINI:  You know, I'd say definitely on 14, I hit two good shots in there and left myself about a 12‑footer for birdie and made a good putt.  Obviously on that hole it's one that you've got to be very cautious on, yet you feel you need to be aggressive because it is one of the more attackable holes on the golf course.  So to birdie that and then come back on 16 and make birdie, those were two key ones.  Those definitely are what make the round is when you can putt the ball in the right places and capitalize on them, so I was very happy with that.
CHRIS REIMER:  Good luck this weekend.

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