Romero Still Celebrating Cabreras Open Win

By Associated PressJune 28, 2007, 4:00 pm
Champions TourEAST MEADOW, N.Y. -- Eduardo Romero was turning the pages of the magazine and showing the pictures like it was a family album full of treasured memories.
'That is Angel with the trophy. That is Angel with Tiger. That is a picture of all of us at our weekly caddies barbecue that we have every Friday,' Romero said as he gave a tour of Gente, a weekly magazine in Argentina that had quite a spread on native son Angel Cabrera's recent victory in the U.S. Open.
When someone let the magazine close and then tried to find the article again, Romero wasted no time: 'Page 132.'
Romero, who is from the same town in the central province of Cordoba, Argentina as Cabrera, is in the United States for the first time since the stunning Open win and he can't stop smiling in talking about his protege's moment in golf history.
'It was very nice for Cabrera, for me, for Argentina, for South America. It was unbelievable,' Romero said before a practice round for the Commerce Bank Championship, a Champions Tour event that gets under way Friday at the Red Course at Eisenhower Park. 'Our little village of 35,000 people, Villa Allende, when he won, the horns were honking, people were in the square jumping. There was dancing in the streets. Even the church bells were ringing. It was unbelievable.'
Then he let out a laugh.
'It is still going on,' he said.
The relationship of the 52-year-old Romero and the 37-year-old Cabrera goes back over three decades. Romero was on the road to a professional career, while Cabrera was a kid who caddied at the same course.
'My father saw something in him when he was only 10 years old,' Romero said. 'When he was 17 we said 'We have to help Cabrera.' I gave him money to play in Europe and he went and he won and then he and I got to represent Argentina in the World Cup. What a thrill. Cabrera is my brother.'
They talked at the weekly barbecue at the Seculine Bar just days before the first practice round for the Open. Cabrera told Romero it would be his last tournament in the United States.
'He said he didn't know why but he said it was very difficult for him to play in America and he felt more comfortable in Europe,' Romero said. 'I told him to try the U.S. Open and see what happens. You may win the tournament, you never know.'
Romero's laugh and smile said it all.
'I guess he'll play again in America,' he said.
Romero has 93 career victories worldwide with his best finish on the PGA Tour a second in The International in 1990. He's had an impressive run of senior majors.
Last year he was second in the Senior British Open and won the Jeld-Wen Tradition.
Last month he had a two-shot lead on the back nine of the final round in the Senior PGA Championship before a bogey at 13 and double bogey at 14 led to a second to Denis Watson.
He enters the Commerce Bank Championship on a run of consecutive seconds on the Champions Tour and is ninth on the money list with $719,449. And next week will be another major, the U.S. Senior Open at Whistling Straits.
'This course is great for me because I hit the ball straight and the greens are fantastic,' he said of the Red Course, a county-owned public facility. 'I am preparing for the U.S. Senior Open because I figure if Cabrera won his and I win mine, Argentina will explode.'
John Harris is the defending champion at the Commerce Bank Championship, beating Tom Jenkins on the first playoff hole for his first Champions Tour win.
Jay Haas, who has won the past two Champions Tour events and four overall this year to take a comfortable lead on the money list, heads the field for the $1.5 million event that has a first prize of $225,000.
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