Rory Sabbatini Makes History With Olympic Silver Medal

Rory Sabbatini Makes History With Olympic Silver Medal

Rory Sabbatini Silver
(Image credit: Getty Images)

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 (opens in new tab), 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.

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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 (opens in new tab), 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.

Rory Sabbatini Silver

Sabbatini celebrates his putt on the 18th green with caddie Martina Sabbatini during the final round of the Men's Individual Stroke Play at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Related: How Rory Sabbatini Qualified For The Olympics (opens in new tab)

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."

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x