Sabbatini edges Furyk, Langer at Colonial

By STEPHEN HAWKINS
Associated Press

FORT WORTH, Texas – Rory Sabbatini still wants to win a tournament with Tiger Woods in the field. The confident South African knows that is the only way to reach his ultimate goal.

“I told my wife, by the end of the year I’m going to be top 10 in the world rankings, and I’m not going to let anything stop me,’’ Sabbatini said Sunday after winning the Colonial. “My goal next year is to probably try to get to No. 1.’’

For now, Sabbatini is certainly happy with beating the No. 3 player in the world and a two-time Masters champion like he did in a playoff at the Crowne Plaza Invitational – where, as usual, Woods didn’t play.

Sabbatini made a 15-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole against Jim Furyk and 49-year-old Bernhard Langer for his fourth PGA Tour victory.

After starting the final round tied at 11 under, that trio closed with matching 3-under 67s to finish 14 under. All then hit their playoff drives in the fairway on the 433-yard 18th and their approach shots landed safely on the green.

Langer had the shortest putt. But with a chance to force another hole after Sabbatini made his birdie, Langer pushed an 8-footer to the right past the hole. Furyk had already missed from 34 feet.

“Rory made a great putt ... right in the middle of the hole. I knew I had to make it.’’ said Langer, whose last Tour victory was his second Masters in 1993. “I’m disappointed I didn’t win, but at the same time, I’m encouraged with my game.’’

Pat Perez (66) finished fourth at 12-under 268, and Nathan Green (66) and Tom Lehman (68) were another stroke back.

Scott Verplank also was tied for the lead going into the final round in his attempt to become the only player other than Ben Hogan to win Colonial and the Byron Nelson Championship in the same year (1946, the first Colonial). He closed with a 71 to tie for seventh.

Sabbatini’s last victory was at the 2006 Nissan Open after Woods withdrew because of the flu.

Before they played in the final group at Wachovia last month, Sabbatini saw the pairing with Woods as a chance to prove his previous victory wasn’t a fluke. Sabbatini had a one-stroke lead before a closing 74.

Even after that, at The Players Championship the next week, Sabbatini said Woods looked “as beatable as ever.’’

Sabbatini has said he doesn’t know what all the fuss was about, and that he only meant that he wanted to compete with world’s No. 1 golfer.

After winning at Colonial, Sabbatini even poked fun at himself about that verbal spat.

“I got all the jinx off that week,’’ said Sabbatini, referring to the fact that he wore the same large skull and wings belt buckle Sunday that he had on during the final round at Wachovia.

“The next step is to win three majors in a year, so I’ve got a good opportunity the rest of the year,’’ he said. “I’m kidding, remember the whole thing. That dry sense of humor. Hey, I don’t want me calling somebody out now.’’

Despite the closing 74 at Wachovia, that was Sabbatini’s third consecutive top-three finish, including the Masters and EDS Byron Nelson Championship.

Now Sabbatini takes a break, staying home in nearby Southlake instead of going to play in the Memorial. He had already withdrawn before winning Colonial, his fifth consecutive week playing.

Next for Sabbatini, 16th in the latest world ranking, is the U.S. Open – and another chance to go against Woods.

Sabbatini finished the rain-delayed third round early Sunday with a 62, missing the tournament record by a stroke when his 8-foot birdie attempt scooted just left on No. 9, the last hole he played in the third round.

Then after consecutive birdies and a bogey to start the fourth round, Sabbatini got to 14 under when he made a 28-foot birdie at the 171-yard 13th. That came after his 22-foot birdie attempt at No. 9 stopped an inch short and his shot from a greenside bunker at the 611-yard 11th hole set up a 6-inch birdie.

Sabbatini escaped trouble at No. 17 when hit his approach shot out of the thick rough onto the green for a two-putt par. His 19-foot birdie try on the final hole of regulation curled away from the hole.

“I realized about halfway through that putt that it wasn’t going to go,’’ Sabbatini said. “But I knew that two putts put us in extra holes.’’

It was the first three-man playoff ever at the Colonial, which hadn’t needed extra holes since 1994 before Tim Herron won a two-hole playoff last year with Richard S. Johnson.

Divots: David Toms had six consecutive birdies to match the longest streak on tour this season, set by Anthony Kim in the first round. ... Herron finished at 4-under 276 after weekend rounds of 70 and 71. ... Rod Pampling had a hole-in-one, using a 6-iron at the 189-yard 16th.

Final scores with relation to par and earningsfrom the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, played May 24-27 at the par-70, 7,054-yard Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas (Note: x-won playoff; FedEx Cup points in parenthesis):

  1. x-Rory Sabbatini (4500) $1,080,000
    70-67-62-67--266
    -14 2. Jim Furyk (2200) 528,000
    65-66-68-67--266
    -14 2. Bernhard Langer (2200) 528,000
    65-68-66-67--266
    -14 4. Pat Perez (1200) 288,000
    66-67-69-66--268
    -12 5. Nathan Green (950) 228,000
    65-66-72-66--269
    -11 5. Tom Lehman (950) 228,000
    66-67-68-68--269
    -11 7. Harrison Frazar (728) 174,600
    68-67-69-66--270
    -10 7. D.J. Trahan (728) 174,600
    67-67-69-67--270
    -10 7. Jerry Kelly (728) 174,600
    70-64-69-67--270
    -10 7. Kevin Na (728) 174,600
    63-69-70-68--270
    -10 7. Scott Verplank (728) 174,600
    70-66-63-71--270
    -10 12. Rod Pampling (475) 114,000
    67-69-70-65--271
    -9 12. Tim Petrovic (475) 114,000
    70-68-67-66--271
    -9 12. Mark Hensby (475) 114,000
    69-67-68-67--271
    -9 12. Nick O'Hern (475) 114,000
    70-66-68-67--271
    -9 12. Tim Clark (475) 114,000
    65-64-74-68--271
    -9 12. Jeff Maggert (475) 114,000
    64-69-68-70--271
    -9 18. Justin Leonard (315) 75,600
    69-70-66-67--272
    -8 18. Anthony Kim (315) 75,600
    63-69-73-67--272
    -8 18. David Toms (315) 75,600
    70-68-68-66--272
    -8 18. Jason Bohn (315) 75,600
    68-66-70-68--272
    -8 18. Stewart Cink (315) 75,600
    67-69-66-70--272
    -8 18. Peter Lonard (315) 75,600
    65-69-67-71--272
    -8 24. K.J. Choi (208) 49,800
    67-70-69-67--273
    -7 24. Steve Stricker (208) 49,800
    67-71-68-67--273
    -7 24. Eric Axley (208) 49,800
    68-67-69-69--273
    -7 24. John Rollins (208) 49,800
    69-68-67-69--273
    -7 24. Stephen Marino (208) 49,800
    69-68-71-65--273
    -7 29. Ben Curtis (156) 37,329
    64-67-74-69--274
    -6 29. Cliff Kresge (156) 37,329
    69-67-70-68--274
    -6 29. Dean Wilson (156) 37,329
    68-67-71-68--274
    -6 29. Arron Oberholser (156) 37,329
    64-66-73-71--274
    -6 29. Lucas Glover (156) 37,329
    67-68-68-71--274
    -6 29. Brandt Snedeker (156) 37,329
    66-70-67-71--274
    -6 29. Ryan Moore (156) 37,329
    71-66-66-71--274
    -6 36. Stephen Leaney (105) 25,230
    68-68-70-69--275
    -5 36. Doug LaBelle II (105) 25,230
    67-70-69-69--275
    -5 36. Frank Lickliter II (105) 25,230
    65-71-69-70--275
    -5 36. Jeff Quinney (105) 25,230
    65-72-68-70--275
    -5 36. Michael Putnam (105) 25,230
    69-65-70-71--275
    -5 36. Alex Cejka (105) 25,230
    67-65-72-71--275
    -5 36. Ted Purdy (105) 25,230
    64-71-72-68--275
    -5 36. Matt Kuchar (105) 25,230
    68-70-70-67--275
    -5 36. Mark Brooks (105) 25,230
    67-71-70-67--275
    -5 36. Chad Campbell (105) 25,230
    67-68-68-72--275
    -5 46. Tim Herron (68) 16,320
    67-68-70-71--276
    -4 46. Bo Van Pelt (68) 16,320
    68-71-67-70--276
    -4 46. Bob Tway (68) 16,320
    73-64-70-69--276
    -4 46. Heath Slocum (68) 16,320
    70-65-72-69--276
    -4 46. Joe Durant (68) 16,320
    67-72-68-69--276
    -4 46. Billy Mayfair (68) 16,320
    71-67-71-67--276
    -4 52. Stephen Ames (58) 13,920
    69-67-70-71--277
    -3 52. Brett Wetterich (58) 13,920
    66-69-71-71--277
    -3 52. Steve Elkington (58) 13,920
    67-69-71-70--277
    -3 52. J.J. Henry (58) 13,920
    68-67-72-70--277
    -3 52. Will MacKenzie (58) 13,920
    67-71-70-69--277
    -3 52. Carl Pettersson (58) 13,920
    74-65-70-68--277
    -3 58. Charles Warren (56) 13,320
    69-68-69-72--278
    -2 58. Davis Love III (56) 13,320
    69-68-72-69--278
    -2 58. Mathew Goggin (56) 13,320
    70-69-70-69--278
    -2 61. Steve Flesch (54) 12,960
    70-69-69-72--280
    E 61. Mark Wilson (54) 12,960
    68-71-70-71--280
    E 61. Tommy Armour III (54) 12,960
    71-68-71-70--280
    E 64. Rocco Mediate (52) 12,420
    70-68-70-75--283 + 3 64. Brett Quigley (52) 12,420
    67-72-70-74--283 + 3 64. Matthew Every (0) 12,420
    69-66-75-73--283 + 3 64. Duffy Waldorf (52) 12,420
    70-69-72-72--283 + 3 64. Ryan Armour (52) 12,420
    67-72-74-70--283 + 3 64. Richard S. Johnson (52) 12,420
    70-68-76-69--283 + 3 70. Ryan Palmer (50) 12,000
    70-69-73-73--285 + 5 •••






    Missed the cut













    71. Steve Lowery

    71-69--140


    71. Paul Goydos

    72-68--140


    71. Nick Watney

    71-69--140


    71. Greg Owen

    66-74--140


    71. Craig Kanada

    72-68--140


    71. John Merrick

    76-64--140


    71. Jonathan Byrd

    69-71--140


    71. Hunter Mahan

    69-71--140


    71. Ken Duke

    71-69--140


    71. Woody Austin

    72-68--140


    71. Chris Couch

    67-73--140


    71. Olin Browne

    69-71--140


    71. Trevor Immelman

    69-71--140


    84. Tripp Isenhour

    73-68--141


    84. Johnson Wagner

    69-72--141


    84. Richie Ramsay

    69-72--141


    84. J.B. Holmes

    72-69--141


    84. John Senden

    68-73--141


    89. Jason Gore

    71-71--142


    89. Bob Estes

    70-72--142


    89. Daniel Chopra

    72-70--142


    89. Kenny Perry

    70-72--142


    89. Corey Pavin

    70-72--142


    89. Kirk Triplett

    69-73--142


    89. Joey Sindelar

    69-73--142


    89. Jason Dufner

    73-69--142


    97. Robert Garrigus

    72-71--143


    97. Brian Gay

    72-71--143


    97. Fredrik Jacobson

    73-70--143


    97. Boo Weekley

    73-70--143


    101. Bart Bryant

    74-70--144


    101. Fred Funk

    73-71--144


    101. Tom Pernice, Jr.

    73-71--144


    104. Andrew Buckle

    72-73--145


    104. David Frost

    71-74--145


    106. Kyle Reifers

    71-75--146


    107. Jeff Sluman

    71-76--147


    107. Fulton Allem

    76-71--147


    109. Keith Clearwater

    75-73--148


    WD. Rich Beem

    74-WD


    WD. Shigeki Maruyama

    73-WD


    WD. Brad Faxon

    78-WD


    WD. Todd Hamilton

    74-WD


    WD. Rod Curl

    86-WD
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