South Africa-born Rory Sabbatini targets Ryder Cup spot

Rory Sabbatini

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

Sabbatini, 43, was born in Durban, South Africa, and, after representing the 'Rainbow Nation' as an amateur, continued to do so after turning professional in 1998.

In 2007, as a South African, he qualified to play for the International team in the 2007 Presidents Cup, winning just a half-point from four matches as the USA ran out 19½-14½ winners.

However, earlier this year, he changed his citizenship from South Africa to Slovakia, the home country of his wife and stepson. 

• How Bob Mac is closing in on history

• WATCH - Hatton gets hilariously distracted

Initially, it was believed that he had done so with a view to qualifying for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, a claim the six-time PGA Tour winner subsequently denied.

However, 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.


Revealing he has had discussions with Harrington about the possibility, he said: “Obviously there's potential and I have a chance, but I'd say between now and then, I've got a lot of good golf that needs to be played.

“I've been playing nicely. My game is finally turning around. I'm back to full strength and full health. I'm starting to get comfortable out on the golf course again, so I'm giving myself opportunities.”

• Glasgow club could sensationally re-open

• 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

twitter-logo facebook-logo

Latest Videos See all videos right arrow

play button
2022 Driver Test | Which one is going in my bag?
play button
The most powerful PING irons ever? | PING i525 review
play button
I'll be using the Vokey SM9 wedges... and you should too
play button
The driver that has it all? | COBRA LTDx drivers REVIEWED!
See all videos right arrow

Golf News

Rory McIlroy: Tour stars "in agreement" after Tiger Woods meeting
Will Zalatoris reveals reaction to nearly hitting THAT shot
Lawyer explains why Patrick Reed won’t win $750m defamation case
New report reveals true state of UK golf participation
PING Scottish Open Series set for final showdown

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
How to control your distances
play button
How to limit your hands in the golf swing
play button
How to make a consistent backswing
play button
Maintaining your posture
See all videos right arrow