Sign up for our daily newsletter

Latest news, reviews, analysis and opinion, plus unmissable deals for bunkered subscriptions, events, and our commercial partners.

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.

• 10 new Scottish golf courses under construction

• Rory admits to “massive guilt” over flying private

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.

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
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.

• Ishikawa in trouble after quarantine breach

• FIRST LOOK! Inside Dundonald’s new clubhouse

Sebastian Munoz leads the way after a course record-equalling 60.  

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.

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

More Reads

Image Turnberry green

The bunkered Golf Course Guide - Scotland

Now, with bunkered, you can discover the golf courses Scotland has to offer. Trust us, you will not be disappointed.

Find Courses

Latest podcast

The 2024 Masters Commute – Final Round Recap LIVE from Augusta