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Cabreras return

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AUGUSTA, Ga. – In one of the understated Masters title defenses in recent years, Angel Cabrera has been something of an afterthought this week, lost amid the vortex of Tiger Woods’ return to competition. That’s just the way El Pato likes it.

Low-key, unassuming and unflappable – particularly when major hardware is on the line – Cabrera arrived at Augusta National late Sunday, his first trip back to the site of his second Grand Slam triumph, and it took a gentle nudge from swing coach Charlie Epps for him to enjoy the moment.

“I told him, ‘Stop the car. What do you feel?’” said Epps as the two pulled onto Magnolia Lane. Cabrera’s reply? “It’s like I’m coming home.”

Nor is Cabrera superstitious. Last year Epps and the Argentine arrived to Augusta late on Sunday and had dinner at 1 a.m. at a local McDonald’s. This year the defending champion made a quick stop at a local grocery store, cooked dinner, shared a bottle of wine and started pouring over old yardage books to prepare for the week ahead.