PGA Tour

SA-born Slovakian golfer says Ernie isn't happy with him

Rory Sabbatini (Getty Images)
Rory Sabbatini (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Four-time major champion Ernie Els may not be on good terms with South African-born Slovakian golfer Rory Sabbatini.

In 2018, Sabbatini became an official citizen of Slovakia which saw the Durban-born golfer play under his adopted flag, thanks to his Slovakian wife, Martina.

This move made the 43-year-old ineligible for captain Els' International squad despite making an appearance in 2007.

Sabbatini, who is currently ranked 72nd in the world golf rankings, revealed that 'The Big Easy' was not impressed with him.

"Well, I know Ernie's probably not happy with me right now," Sabbatini told the Golf Channel following the BMW Championship last week.

"I keep joking with him, texting, 'Hey, you mad at me still?' He normally just sends an image back.

"... I'm more than happy to be representing Slovakia, because you know what, they don't have a professional golfer on the international stage."

Sabbatini will now be eligible to play for the Slovakia in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

The Olympics takes no more than two golfers from each country - a maximum of four if they are among the Top 15 - until the field size reaches 60 players.

Sabbatini's current Olympic ranking is 31st as of August 18. 

Sabbatini, who won the World Cup of Golf with Trevor Immelman for South Africa in 2003, last won on the PGA Tour in 2011 at the Honda Classic.

Meanwhile, the Top 8 golfers have qualified for the International Presidents Cup team, which includes SA's top ranked golfer Louis Oosthuizen.

Els will choose his four wildcard selections in the week of November 4.

The 2019 Presidents Cup will take place at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club from December 9-15.

Compiled by Lynn Butler

Presidents Cup

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