Olympics

SA-born golfer wins Games silver for Slovakia in Tokyo

01 August 2021 - 10:51 By Sport Staff
Rory Sabbatini of Slovakia in action in Tokyo.
Rory Sabbatini of Slovakia in action in Tokyo.
Image: REUTERS/Toby Melville

SA-born golfer Rory Sabbatini won an Olympic silver medal at the Tokyo Games on Sunday — for his newly adopted country of Slovakia.

Sabbatini, who based himself in the US after studying there, would not have qualified for the showpiece for any of the other nations where he has held citizenship or passports — SA, America and even Britain.

Languishing at 204 in the world there are 15 SA golfers ahead of him in the rankings. 

But he delivered in Tokyo to finish one stroke behind American winner Xander Schauffele after shooting an Olympic record 10-under-par 61 in the final round.

CT Pan of Taipei won a seven-way play-off for the bronze medal.

Sabbatini’s round featured two bogeys, an eagle two and 10 birdies for nine-hole totals of 31 and 30 to give him an Olympic gong to add to his career earnings of more than $35m on the PGA Tour.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout finished in a tie for 16th on 11 under and Garrick Higgo ended joint 53rd on level par. 

SA-born Englishman Justin Rose won the golf tournament at Rio 2016.

SA’s top-ranked golfer, Louis Oosthuizen, who finished in the top three at all four majors this year, didn’t make himself available for the Games.


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