Rory Sabbatini hit with DQ after for bizarre rules violation

Rory Sabbatini

Rory Sabbatini has been disqualified from the final regular PGA Tour event of the year... for a completely bizarre reason. 

The Olympic silver-medallist was sent for a proverbial early bath by officials at the RSM Classic after he was found to have “a non-conforming external attachment” to the face of a club he used during the round.

The Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard elaborated to explain that the infraction, penalised under Rule 4.1, was for having stickers attached to the clubface of one of his fairway woods.

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On closer inspection, it was determined that the stickers in question were the small reflective stickers used by players to dial in their numbers when they’re testing new gear.

The stickers are mainly used to track clubhead speed and, whilst they offer Sabbatini no discernible advantage on the course per se, they are not allowed under the Rules of Golf.

According to a rules official at the Sea Island Golf Club in Georgia, the South Africa-born 45-year-old reported the infraction himself after noticing it following his round, whereupon he was disqualified.

Compounding his disappointment is the fact that (a) there are no further PGA Tour events for which he is eligible until the Sony Open in the middle of January and (b) the fact he had made five birdies in his final six holes to post a four-under-par round of 68.  

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Sabbatini, incidentally, isn’t the first player to be disqualified for a sticker-related rules SNAFU. In 2017, Ben Crane received two four-shot penalties for having stickers on his driver and his six-iron at Tour's Albertsons Boise Open.

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