Honda Classic: Sabbatini set to defend his title – will he succeed?
Rory Sabbatini will be defending his title of the Honda Classic from March 1, while playing against the world leaders in Florida.
The 35-year-old South African professional scored a 9-under 271 at the amazing Floridian venue of PGA National Champion Course, Palm Beach Gardens in 2011. He will be defending his title and will compete against tough rivals.
The Honda Classic is one of the famous tournaments, which has been staged by the Professional Golf Association since 1972.
The purse is $5,700,000, and out of which, the winner will earn $1,026,000 and 550 FedEx points.
Sabbatini displayed an amazing performance last year and defeated Y.E. Yang by one stroke. However, there are fewer chances for him to become the proud winner once again.
His statistics of the current season are not so appealing. He is facing tough challenges in most of the tournaments and is struggling to record a good position on the scoreboard.
As in 2011, he played 24 PGA Tour events and won only the Honda Classic. His performance in the rest was average. He also missed the cut in six tournaments and finished 9 times in the top 25.
His driving distance was 292.5 yards with 56.74% accuracy. He only scored three eagles and 320 birdies throughout the year.
The South African player is on the 76th position, according to the Official World Golf Rankings.
Similarly, he is also competing in the current season of the PGA, which started from Hyundai Tournament of Champions and played six tournaments in total.
Sabbatini was unable to make the cut in three of the tournaments and his best finish of the year is again at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
He finished tied for the ninth position and played tremendously. However, these statistics are not enough for him to be the leader at the upcoming tournament.
Another factor, which will be going against his win, is the presence of the world leaders in the field. All the leading golf players will be teeing off at the Honda Classic on Thursday in Florida.
The top contenders of the title include Rory McIlroy, Greg Norman, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Tiger Woods, Y.E. Yang, Mark Wilson and Charl Schwartzel.
Playing against these world top class players is not an easy task. They all are in their full form and committed to golf. They are passionate and have recorded amazing finishes this year.
Rory McIlroy, the Northern Irish professional, is on the top position for performing extremely well on both the PGA and European Tour.
He played three tournaments on the European Tour and finished in the top 5 amazingly. Similarly, he played another exciting tournament of the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship and secured the runner-up position.
He is doing well this year and is the biggest rival in the field of the Honda Classic.
He is looking forward to defeating Luke Donald at World Rankings and becoming the world No. 1 by delivering his best in the four-day tournament.
Similarly, Woods, McDowell, Norman and Westwood are also competent and regarded as the best after McIlroy. They are making the field more competitive and challenging for Sabbatini.
Hence, in my opinion, there are very minimal chances for Sabbatini to win the title of the Honda Classic at PGA National Champion Course, Palm Beach Gardens.
However, there is hope that he will secure a place in the top 25, although it will not be easy. To achieve such an honourable position on the leaderboard, he should be more impressive on the course, scoring multiple birdies.
The views expressed in this article are the writer's own and in no way represent Bettor.com's official editorial policy.