Rory Sabbatini, Brian Gay take Zurich Classic lead, discuss bracelet shopping

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Rory Sabbatini, Brian Gay take Zurich Classic lead, discuss bracelet shopping

PGA Tour

Rory Sabbatini, Brian Gay take Zurich Classic lead, discuss bracelet shopping

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AVONDALE, La. – Things got weird Friday at the Zurich Classic.

There are already enough moving parts here due to the team-format, and a race to make up for a 7-hour, 33-minute rain delay Thursday meant total chaos Friday afternoon.

You had teams all over the course playing different formats, some finishing Round 1 best-ball while others had already teed off for Round 2 alternate-shot.

You also had a team of unexpected veterans at the top of the leaderboard.

Brian Gay and Rory Sabbatini matched the tournament best-ball record and finished their opening round with an 12-under 60 to take the lead, after which they were asked what team activity they’d be great at other than golf.

“Beer pong,” Gay said.

“Shopping for bracelets,” Sabbatini countered.

What kind of bracelets?

“Just men’s bracelets. We always have our unique style of bracelets.”

That led to a discussion regarding the cost of said bracelets, ($1,000 to $2,000 “probably”), and an incredible response from Gay when asked where one would acquire a luxury men’s bracelet.

“They’re out there,” Gay said.

Indeed.

Gay, 47, last won on Tour in 2013. It’s been even longer for Sabbatini, 43, a six-time winner who was last victorious at the 2011 Honda Classic.

“Brian just played solid all day yesterday and today,” Sabbatini said. “That makes it easy on me to be a little bit more aggressive and take a few more risks out there. He just played solid all day.”

Sabbatini also made sure to point out they would have shot 59 to beat the tournament record had Gay not missed short putts on a few holes.

“I think it helps if you know the guy pretty well,” Gay said. “It’s better if your games match up and if you’re comfortable with your partner and you know each other, that works better.”

Gay is in New Orleans with his family this week while Sabbatini is alone, so “I eat at the bar, he eats at a table,” Sabbatini said.

Sabbatini does have a team-format win on his resume, taking the 2003 World Golf Championships-World Cup with Trevor Immelman. He’s also coming off a T-10 at last week’s RBC Heritage and has made six consecutive cuts, finishing inside the top 40 at each.

“We’re kind of playing the way we both play our own games,” Gay said. “Rory likes to go. I’ll let him hit first and play his deal. I know he’s going to be pretty aggressive. He’s putting the eyes out of it.”

All told it took about 32 hours to finish the opening round at TPC Louisiana, creating a long wait for the leaders – Gay and Sabbatini weren’t set to tee off for Round 2 until 6:36 p.m. Friday.

It’s been that kind of week in the Big Easy, where the colorful Gay/Sabbatini duo made for a fitting group of frontrunners in Round 1.

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