Sabbatini withdraws from Memorial

Rory Sabbatini during the Byron Nelson Championship.

IRVING, Texas – Rory Sabbatini has withdrawn from next week’s Memorial.

Sabbatini says he no longer needs to play the Memorial because he is exempt from qualifying for the U.S. Open. Even so, his decision comes amid speculation he’s facing a suspension from the PGA Tour over his behavior on the course in recent months.

The PGA Tour doesn’t discuss disciplinary matters.

Sabbatini had a profanity-filled argument with Sean O’Hair on the course in New Orleans four weeks ago. That was after multiple players and officials said Sabbatini spoke harshly at the Northern Trust Open in February to a teenage volunteer trying to help him find a lost ball.

After the South African player shot a 12-over 82 Friday to miss the cut at the Byron Nelson Championship, he was asked why he wasn’t playing Memorial.

“Well, the only reason I was going to play is because I had to qualify for the Open. Now I don’t have to,” Sabbatini said. “After the way I played today, I definitely know I need some time off.”

Sabbatini said his next two tournaments would be the U.S. Open in three weeks, and the British Open a month after that.

When Sabbatini was in the top 10 on the PGA Tour money list this week, that made him exempt from qualifying for the U.S. Open that will be played June 16-19 at Congressional Country Club.

Sabbatini played in the Memorial last year, but before that he had not been there since 2006. The following week is the St. Jude Classic, where Sabbatini hasn’t played since 2000. If there is a suspension, it wouldn’t apply at the U.S. Open, which is run by the USGA, or the British Open.

The following week is the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Conn., where Sabbatini hasn’t played since 2002. He hasn’t played the AT&T National since it began in 2007.

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