Monday, April 13, 2009

A Masterful Masters: Cabrera Wins a Green Jacket

Easter Sunday at Augusta National served as the setting for a major championship that will be remembered and talked about for years to come. The patrons were expecting an exciting final round and they got what they wished for and much more.

Angel Cabrera persevered, played steady golf, got a few nice breaks and walked away with his first green jacket and his second major championship. Kentucky’s Kenny Perry on the other hand let the green jacket slip out of his grasp with two costly bogeys on the final two holes and another bogey on the second playoff hole seal his fate.

Perry left the 16th green with a two shot lead and seemingly had the tournament won. He was clearly the crowd favorite and it was hard to root for him. At 48 years old, Kenny Perry would have become the oldest player to win a major championship. However, the golf Gods did not smile on him. His close friend Chad Campbell let another opportunity to win major slip away as well. Playing the next last group, Campbell was in position to win the tournament of the 18th green. He could have posted a winning score but his birdie putt slipped by. Despite the fact that he was the third player in the playoff, he missed a short putt for par and was quickly eliminated on the first playoff hole.

Angel Cabrera solidified himself as a world class player on Sunday. He handled the pressure of a major championship with class and poise. At the 2007 U.S. Open, Cabrera stared down Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk on his way to his first major championship. He did the same thing yesterday at the Masters. He couldn’t help but hear the thunderous cheers of the patrons as Tiger and Phil made a charge and flew up the leaderboard. Cabrera appeared to have a few loose swings on the front nine, but he managed to calm himself and right the ship.

Cabrera’s win in a small and symbolic way is a measure of redemption for his fellow countrymen Roberto DeVicenzo. In 1968 DeVicenzo lost the Masters because he signed an incorrect scorecard. He marked down a 4 on the 17th hole instead of a 3. The error was discovered after he signed his scorecard and under the rules of golf he was disqualified. His mistake still reigns as one of the saddest stories in all of sports. After Cabrera’s U.S. Open win in 2007, De Vicenzo gave Cabrera a picture of him holding a green jacket and told him to win one for himself on day.

This Easter Sunday Angel Cabrera did just that. His win was the first for Argentina and as he put on that green jacket I am sure Roberto DeVicenzo had a smile on his a face and was feeling a sense of pride for his friend Angel Cabrera.

(images Courtesy Getty Images)

"Keep it in the short grass"
Edward. S. Wanambwa

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