It all happened last year, 2002, in the Benson & Hedges International Open at the home of last years Ryder Cup, the De Vere Belfry near Birmingham, England. Daly made the Atlantic crossing for the tournament and very well might have won except for the 74 he shot in Saturdays round. Montgomerie had one bad hole ' the 261-yard 10th on Sunday and made double-bogey when he went into the water. And Cabrera won with a hole-out on the 72nd hole, pitching in to save par.
Im delighted, said Cabrera. This is a big thing and I see no reason why I wont win more.
Daly probably should have won it Sunday, but instead he slipped all the way back to a tie for ninth, five shots behind the winner. He made eight birdies in spite of his Saturday round. But six bogeys doomed him.
Tiger would have made eight birdies today, but he wouldnt have made as many bogeys, said Daly of his Sunday go-round, He might have made one or two, and thats the difference in him and me. I make enough birdies to be in contention, but I miss a short putt here, a missed chip there. He doesnt do that.
Daly had an allergic reaction to diet pills he was taking before the tournament began and he was bothered by numbness in his arm throughout.
Montgomeries undoing came at the short 10th when he got off the tee with a 9-iron on the 261-yard hole, flew the green across the pond with a pitch, then chipped back into the water.
I played that hole in 3-over for the week, sighed Montgomerie. Its only a 9-iron off the tee, so I should be able to make par. With glorious hindsight, I should have gone for the green off the tee every day.
That leaves Cabrera, the winner with a final-round 69. One of the longer hitters on the European Tour, he won this week with a superb display of his short-game artistry. His final pitch at the last hole came from 40 yards away.
I was just trying to make a 4, he said. I knew that 4 would be good enough to win, so I tried to make a good chip.
Forty-one-year-old Barry Lane actually had the lead by three on the final day, but a string of bogeys gave him a 73 for the day. He was 10-under for the tournament on the 16th green Sunday ' Cabreras winning total ' but he three-putted to drop out of the lead and could never recover.