Rory Sabbatini and Cheng-tsung Pan both assigned their wives as caddy in their journey to the top 3 men’s golf at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Sabbatini is 45 years old, a native of South Africa, married Martina Stofanikova and became a citizen of Slovakia in 2019. He won six PGA Tour championships over 23.
Attending this Olympics, Sabbatini represents his wife’s hometown, and is the oldest of 60 male golfers. Pan was born in 1991, the second time playing Olympic golf for Taiwan.
Sabbatini and Pan both chose their partners as real combat assistants in their quest for medals on East Kasumigaseki, par71. This transformation of husband and wife into golfer-caddy has brought great results.
Sabbatini on August 1 played the last match of 61 strokes and broke the Olympic golf round record set by Matt Kuchar at 63 strokes at Rio 2016. Thanks to this breakthrough performance, Sabbatini received a silver medal at -17.
Playing with the Sabbatini group, Pan hit 63 strokes, finished at -15, then entered the playoff (side hole) with six other golfers, then won a bronze medal by defeating Collin Morikawa – new major champion The Open, third in the world ( OWGR table) on the fourth side hole.
“Personally, Michelle is the best caddy. She wants to help me find a medal. She understands my bad habits, knows how to speak up at the right time. But most importantly, we have had great results when mixing. fit together,” Pan shared before the tournament about his wife’s ability and evidenced by his time on T2 at the Wyndham Championship 2018 on the PGA Tour.
“I want to support him emotionally and mentally. Trying to calm him down. But I also have to be calm enough to help my husband,” Michelle witty shared. She wants to prove the adage “after the success of men, there are women”. “I can command my wife professionally, but she’s still the boss,” Pan jokes.
Regarding the scenario on the field, the Pan and his wife will whisper to each other all sorts of things that can cool down the competition. “We talked about daily life, like chatting at home. Before each shot, I talked about the direction of the shot, the distance, the type of club. She listened and repeated, but thanks to that, I stuck to the strategy I planned. “, Pan revealed the coordination plan.
On the closing day, Pan had to play the bronze medal playoff with six “stubborn” opponents including Collin Morikawa – who has just won the The Open major, former world number one Rory McIlroy, and major Masters champion 2021 Hideki Matsuyama. Pan won the fourth extra hole by par, while Morikawa bogey.
“I told myself to focus on each shot and then told me to just have fun with my wife to relieve the pressure. She is a great caddy, helping me to relax. I want to thank her so much,” Pan said after receive a bronze medal. Last time in Rio 2016, he returned to T30.
Pan won the gold medal both individually and as a team at the Asian Games in 2014. But this time Michelle cried tears of joy when she watched her husband receive the first Olympic medal for golf in Taiwan. “Like a dream. We stood at T57 after the first round but finished like this. In the morning of the last round, seeing my husband quietly lining up the uniform, I encouraged him, saying ‘We still have a chance. Just play this round negative 8 or 9 or something. won the medal.’ And we succeeded,” Michelle said.
In June 2020, when the PGA Tour just reopened after a three-month break from Covid-19, Pan and his wife bought a mobile home to reduce the risk of nCoV infection while defending the RBC Heritage championship. At that time, Michelle was also a caddy, but Pan finished T52.
Chuah Choo Chiang – National Hu
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