EXCLUSIVE

Gary Player reacts to Rory Sabbatini's Ryder Cup 'bid'

Gary Player

Gary Player has given his support to fellow South Africa-born golfer Rory Sabbatini in his bid to qualify for Europe's Ryder Cup team.

Sabbatini, 43, could become the first golfer to play against the USA in both the Presidents Cup and the Ryder Cup, after admitting he's interested in being part of Padraig Harrington’s European team for next year’s match at Whistling Straits.

The six-time PGA Tour winner changed his citizenship at the start of the year from South Africa to Slovakia, the home country of his wife and stepson. 

• Mickelson streak in big jeopardy this week

• How Bob Mac is closing in on history

As a citizen of a European country, Sabbatini is eligible to play in the Ryder Cup – and, during last week’s Italian Open, he admitted that’s on his radar, saying that "there's potential". He added that he has discussed the possibility with Euro captain Padraig Harrington.

INTRODUCING "THE BEST DEAL IN GOLF"

Opinion is divided over whether or not Sabbatini should be eligible to play in the biennial competition, not least because he has previously represented South Africa as both and amateur and a professional. 

One man supporting him, however, is golf legend Player. 

The nine-time major winner captained Sabbatini in the 2007 Presidents Cup when he qualified to play for the International team and returned just a half-point from four matches in a 19½-14½ defeat to the USA.

• WATCH - Hatton gets hilariously distracted

• Glasgow club could sensationally re-open

He believes that Sabbatini is perfectly entitled to have a crack at Ryder Cup qualifying.

"People and professional sportsman have changed nationalities for a long, long time and then successfully represented their newly adopted country in a myriad of endeavours," Player told bunkered.co.uk

"I wish Rory nothing but the very best in his quest to play in the Ryder Cup and will follow his progress with interest."

WATCH - A ROUND WITH MARC WARREN

• Pettersen pens open letter to infant son

Should he qualify for the team, Sabbatini would become the first Slovakian national to play in the Ryder Cup. 

Since Continental Europeans were made eligible for the match in 1979, players from seven different countries on the continent have taken part in the Ryder Cup: Spain, Denmark, Belgium, France, Sweden, Germany and Italy.

The 2020 Ryder Cup takes place at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin from September 25-27.

Share this Article

share-logo
twitter-logo facebook-logo

Latest Videos See all videos right arrow

play button
THE ARRAN GOLF MARATHON - EPISODE 1
Arran Golf Marathon
play button
HOW DO THE NEW TITLEIST T-SERIES IRONS PERFORM?
Titleist
play button
HAS TITLEIST MADE BIG IMPROVEMENTS? | T-Series irons review
Titleist
play button
PLAYING THE OLD COURSE AT ST ANDREWS | AN EPIC EXPERIENCE
Callaway Golf
See all videos right arrow

Golf News

Fellow pro calls out DeChambeau over latest no "Fore" shout
Justin Thomas “disappointed” with 2021 season
Jordan Spieth "very highly likely" to play 2022 Scottish Open
Bryson DeChambeau says he “doesn’t need” COVID-19 vaccine
Solheim hopeful out to influence captain Catriona Matthew

Other Top Stories

Tiger Woods: Inside his $41million Florida mansion
The very best pubs in St Andrews
The Scottish Golf Course Emoji Quiz!
24 lies every bad golfer tells
Doug Sanders: The extraordinary life of golf's original playboy

Quick Fault 'n' Fixes See all videos right arrow

play button
Denis Pugh’s advice for big hitters
Watch
play button
Swing with more arm speed
Callaway
play button
Stand closer to the ball
Watch
play button
Maintaining your posture
Watch
See all videos right arrow