Cabrera erases painful Masters memories for Argentina

The last time an Argentinean was in contention to win the US Masters, a sporting error of major proportions denied the South American country Augusta glory.

It was 1968 and Roberto De Vicenzo was supposed to go into a play-off with American Bob Goalby. However, he submitted an incorrect scorecard – a huge faux pas in golf – which meant Goalby came away with a one-shot victory.

De Vicenzo would later give Angel Cabrera a photo of him holding a green jacket, hoping it would inspire Cabrera to seek out the treasured item of clothing for himself.

Cabrera now wears the real thing proudly on his back. This time, an Argentinean did make it to a play-off at Augusta and emerged victorious.

The 2007 US Open champion proved that he indeed belongs in elite company as he fended off Chad Campbell and Kenny Perry in the play-off to win the 2009 US Masters on a thrilling final day at Augusta.

Trailing by two shots after the 16th, Cabrera joined Campbell and Perry on 12-under-par 276 after his final round of one-under 71 – his highest round of the tournament.

Campbell had a solid three-under 69 while Perry appeared to have squandered his chances with a final-round 71.

The first hole of the sudden-death play-off was full of drama for Cabrera, whose tee shot nestled behind a tree. With what seemed like an eye-of-a-needle gap through which he could put the ball back in play, Cabrera sent the ball ricocheting and then whirring through forest back into the fairway, from where he hit to within eight feet and then holed a great par.

Campbell, meanwhile, was the first to be knocked out of the play-off. On the next hole, Cabrera tapped in as Perry hit his approach left of the green. The green jacket that his countrymen wanted for him for so long was his, as he said in a Reuters article:

“He (De Vicenzo) gave me a picture where he has in his hand a green jacket, and he says, ‘I hope this gives you luck so someday you can bring back a green jacket for yourself’. De Vicenzo had bad luck. He had a bad moment. It’s not going to change what happened to him. This win, to take back to Argentina, it’s going to help a lot with our game.”

Flamboyant Japanese Shingo Katayama finished alone on fourth with 10-under 278 after his closing four-under 68.

In fifth place was Phil Mickelson, who won an intriguing mini-duel with Tiger Woods, who he was paired with on the final day. Lefty shot five-under 67 for his 279 while Woods, playing his first major since returning from an eight-month injury lay-off, fired four-under 68.

Woods finished tied for sixth on 280 along with Steve Flesch, John Merrick and Steve Stricker.

The world number one waited until the final day to show flashes of brilliance but, what started off as a potential title fight with Mickelson, eventually faded into a secondary, but enthralling, side-show.

The main event was Cabrera’s grit and determination in clawing his way back and then grinding it out during the play-off. As he said afterwards: “A lot of magical things happen. It’s simply the Masters.”

6 Responses to “Cabrera erases painful Masters memories for Argentina”

  1. Jean says:

    Thanks Andy for the web site discussing the tribute to Seve. Very much appreciated. We pray that Seve will have a wonderful recovery from his operations. He will be sadly missed from the tournaments not only by his fellow golfers but by the millions of people who have followed his career and the joy he gave to them. Seve’s biggest motto was “NEVER GIVE UP” he could always manufacture a shot to fit the occasion as he believed there was always a chance he could win. I hope Garcia will take up the reins and learn from Seves experiences as his Mentor.


  2. daddymaff says:

    What a fantastic masters.There is always a twist in the tale. My only gripe is our local broadcaster who managed to put 20 minutes of adds into every hour after being told that you will see 56 minutes in every hour by the masters chairman. Very boring. Please stick by the rules.

  3. Beryl Broekman says:

    Hi Andy,

    I just wish to say that for me the whole TV coverage of the Masters was appalling. In the end I turned it off as all we were allowed to see was Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods and every now and then a shot of the leaders. With all due respect to Tiger and Phil I thought this was such an insult to all the other wonderful players, like why bother to pitch up if only two players are featured. I hope the people in charge of coverage realize how pathetically they are doing their job and that someone tells them to get their act together. If I have to see either Phil or Tiger sink another 3 foot putt I just might vomit. Good for Cabrera. Pity for Kenny Perry though! Thanks for the interesting newsletters.


  4. Jean says:

    What a thrilling final day of golf at Augusta. It was a wonderful day of golf at its best. The shot of Cabrera needling his way through the trees and after hitting a tree landed back on the fairway. Tiger in the trees and hit what appeared to be a shank. Both landed back on the green to win the hole.
    If Seve Ballesteros was watching the game it would take him back to his hey day and the wonderful impossible shots he pulled off.

    Perry and Campbell are 2 players who are great executors of the ball and good to watch their career. Either could have easily won the Green Jacket. Katayama from Japan has charisma and could easily have been in contention.

    It was fabulous to watch a great golf game when you didn’t know who was going to win. The crowd was enthralled with what they were seeing. Millions like me around the world watching the final round at Augusta Masters, will dust off the golf clubs and take a new interest in the game of golf. The commentating was fabulous.

    Thank you to all who participated


  5. Jean says:

    I have 2 questions – There were press reports at end of third round that a tribute to Seve Ballesteros would be made. I waited but never heard it. Do you have a transcript of the speech?

    My second question is – There was no mention of the results of the Amateurs playing in the Masters. Do you have the results? Do the Amateurs have to abide by the same 10 shots from the leader board to play in the third round or are they exempt?


    Andy’s Reply:

    Hi Jean,

    I found this link regarding Seve:

    Amateurs also abide by the 10 shot rule.

    Kind Regards


  6. Lachlan Harris says:

    The playoff to me was what golf is all about….never never give up…i watched Cabrera’s shot ricochet off the trees…How the story may have been different had that very ball gone 30 yards further into the.

    So, 4 days of gruelling play in the end came down to a lucky ricochet of a tree…How good are these guys?

    Just the best

    Lachlan Harris

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