Masters champ Cabrera takes spot in marquee group

By Associated PressJune 17, 2009, 4:00 pm
2009 U.S. OpenFARMINGDALE, N.Y. ' Angel Cabreras win at the Masters earned him a spot in the marquee opening threesome at the U.S. Open.
It almost never happened. The only man with a chance at this years Grand Slam nearly skipped the Masters.
Barely a week before teeing off at Augusta National, Cabrera was so disenchanted with his game that he considered pulling out of the seasons first major championship. Couldnt putt at all, he said, meaning there was no way he could handle the demands of Augusta.
Thats when fellow Argentine and mentor Eduardo Romero stepped in with a vital assist ' again.
Romero talked Cabrera into playing, and things fell into place. Cabrera won that Masters in a playoff, his second major in 22 months, and when the U.S. Open begins at Bethpage Black on Thursday, hell be alongside fellow reigning major winners Tiger Woods and Padraig Harrington in the featured group.
Now after winning the Masters, I know what its all about, Cabrera said. I can go through it a lot easier.
That wasnt the case after he pulled off the surprise win at the 2007 U.S. Open at Oakmont.
He was never near the hunt last year as the defending champion at Torrey Pines, shooting 79-76, missing the cut by a mile and later acknowledging that he was ill-equipped for all the responsibilities that came with defending a major title.
But this week, spurred on in part by plenty of Spanish-speaking fans whove swarmed to Bethpage Black, Cabrera seems relaxed and at ease.
Sometimes he needed somebody to push him, said Romero, at 54 the oldest man in this field after earning a spot as the U.S. Senior Open winner last year. But hes a good player. Big talent. Hes a favorite. Cabrera is one of the favorite players now.
Romero can take much of the credit for that.
He lived two blocks from Cabrera in their hometown of Cordoba, and encouraged him as a teenager to take up golf. Cabrera, whose career began with borrowed clubs gleaned through his connections as a caddie, tried three times to get his European Tour card in 1995. He went 0-for-3, so Romero bankrolled him for that season.
A good investment, without question.
Cabrera has won only twice on the PGA Tour, but both were majors. Known throughout his career for carrying the nickname Duck ' even Romero says he walks like one ' Cabrera is finally getting some attention for his game, too.
If I hadnt won a U.S. Open and a Masters I wouldnt be playing with Tiger this week, Cabrera said. Its great to be able to play with him, to be playing aside the No. 1 player in the world. Its an honor. I wish I could play with him every week.
Can Cabrera win the Grand Slam? Romero doesnt see why not, noting that the Masters win is still paying big dividends in Argentina, where golfs popularity is exploding.
We have to say thank you to Cabrera, Romero said, because after the Masters tournament the people are still celebrating over there.
For his part, Cabrera ' who has played only twice in the U.S. since winning the Masters, missing the cut at Quail Hollow and tying for 14th at The Players Championship a week later ' says he isnt letting himself daydream about winning all four majors this year, or anything much past this U.S. Open.
I dont think of that, Cabrera said. No, first Ive got to play good this week. Have a good tournament this week. Then Ill think of the next tournament.
He won the Masters despite having little belief in his game.
These days, he isnt questioning his game whatsoever.
I started the year great, winning the Masters, Cabrera said. Obviously, that gives me a lot of confidence to get things done this week.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage ' 2009 U.S. Open
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  • Man vs. Bethpage
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    Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

    By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

    The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

    Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

    There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

    Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

    Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

    None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

    Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

    An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

    In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

    Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

    Playing with the pros

    Tiger, DJ and Faxon

    Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

    Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

    Rory faces criticism

    Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

    Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

    President at the Presidents Cup

    Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

    Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

    Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

    Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

    Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

    Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

    Cart on the green

    Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

    Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

    Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

    Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

    Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

    Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

    Trump golf properties


    Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

    Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


    Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

    Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

    Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

    Reportedly fake TIME covers

    Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

    Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

    Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

    Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

    Pros comment on the president

    Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

    Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

    Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

    Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

    With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

    Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

    The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

    Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

    In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.