Rory Sabbatini produced an Olympic scoring record at Kasumigaseki Country Club, with his final round 61 good enough for Slovakia's third medal of the Tokyo Olympics.
Rory Sabbatini Makes History With Olympic Silver Medal
Having started the day seven shots back of overnight leader, Xander Schauffele, the Slovakian produced one of the rounds of his life in Japan, with an eagle, 10 birdies and two bogies good enough for a 10-under-par round of 61.
Sabbatini, who was the oldest player in the field, would have needed a 60 just to get into a playoff with eventual winner, Schauffele.
However, he would settle for the silver medal, with a closing birdie being fist pumped before the ball had even hit the bottom of the cup.
Sabbatini, who has six PGA Tour wins, with his last coming at the 2011 Honda Classic, is representing Slovakia despite winning the 2003 WGC World Cup with South African, Trevor Immelman.
After marrying Stofanikova, Sabbatini could claim Slovakian citizenship due to the marriage.
Stofanikova’s cousin, Rastislav Antal, who is the current President of the Slovak Golf Association, suggested to Sabbatini that he could take advantage of a bylaw to Rule 41 of the Olympic Charter that allows athletes of dual citizenship to represent the nation of their choice.
As a result, Sabbatini started representing the nation of Slovakia, a country with only 9,000 registered golfers and 26 golf courses.
“The whole principle about me getting my Slovak citizenship and representing Slovakia is to try and generate interest among the junior golfers and to create future generations of Slovak golfers. Hopefully this (silver medal) can add that little extra fuel to the fire.
“It’s been a great environment to be around all the Slovak athletes and the Olympic team and they have been very hospitable and welcoming and we have had a lot of fun in the team room.”