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Rory Sabbatini happy with excellent start to 2006

A drained Rory Sabbatini notched his third top-10 finish of the PGA Tour season at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Sunday and was upbeat about his recent form.

The South African fired a two-under-par 70 in the final round at the Pebble Beach Golf Links to secure outright second place, five strokes behind winner Arron Oberholser.

"I've been playing great all year," the 29 year old told reporters. "I'm obviously a little fatigued right now because I can tell with my swing I'm not hitting the ball as well as I was the first couple of tournaments.

"But I'm grinding it out pretty well, giving myself chances at birdies and getting myself into position. If I can continue to do that, hopefully I will win one here soon."

Sabbatini, twice a winner on the PGA Tour, tied for second, 10th, 16th and 20th in his first four starts of the year.

Although his fifth event in a row proved to be physically challenging, he was delighted with a strong start to the final round that yielded three birdies in the first five holes.

"I didn't really have any expectations," he said. "I was trying to do the best I could do. I can't control what they (the overnight leaders) are going to do.

"I got off to a good start but things just slowed down from there. I hit a couple of wayward shots and put myself in the wrong positions and went backwards.

"Nine and 10 pretty much killed my chances," he said of his only two bogeys on the day.

Sabbatini, who won the 2000 Air Canada Championship and the 2003 FBR Capital Open, believes his consistent early-season form is due to a decision to start carrying his own yardage book.

"I did that as a way to slow myself down, to slow my pace of play down and just make sure that I was focused on every shot," he said.

"Doing that has definitely helped me so far this year."

February 14, 2006


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