Angel Cabrera, why he's not playing this year

The Masters at Augusta, the first major tournament of the golfing season, began this Thursday with the absence of Ángel Cabrera, the Argentine golfer who clinched the title in 2009 and had hoped to return to Augusta National

by Andrea Gussoni
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Angel Cabrera, why he's not playing this year
© Getty Images Sport - Kevin C. Cox / Staff

The Masters at Augusta, the first major tournament of the golfing season, began this Thursday with the absence of Ángel Cabrera, the Argentine golfer who clinched the title in 2009 and had hoped to return to Augusta National.

Angel Cabrera, results

Born in the town of Villa Allende in Córdoba, Argentina, 54 years ago, Cabrera resumed competition last December to reconnect with the sport that brought him glory but from which he had been isolated for 32 months due to serving consecutive sentences for domestic violence.

The winner of the 2007 U.S. Open had hoped to fulfill his dream of returning to the place where he made history in 2009 as the first Latin American to don the coveted green jacket. However, reality brought him back down to earth.

Although the tournament organizers extended an invitation to him as a former champion to participate in the competition and, notably, in the special dinner preceding the event, Cabrera was unable to travel to the United States because the country denied him entry visa.

Earlier this year, the president of Augusta National Golf Club, Fred Ridley, told the British newspaper 'The Telegraph' that the organization was expecting Cabrera: "Certainly, Ángel is one of our great champions." However, aware that he was facing documentation issues at that time, Ridley wished him "the best of luck with that" and confirmed that he would "welcome him back" if he managed to "resolve those legal issues." However, Cabrera's former agent, Manuel Tagle, told the specialized publication 'Golf Week' that the visa was rejected because "more information" was required.

Nevertheless, the timeframes for submitting and analyzing the requested documentation prevented Cabrera from attending the Masters. "Of course, I want to be at the Masters. I want to play as much as possible on the calendar, I am eager.

But I am not going to make up for lost time. I am working on my fitness," Cabrera explained to the Argentine newspaper 'La Nación' last December. At that time, he already mentioned his intention to visit the U.S. Embassy to renew his visa, which, he said, was valid until March.

After being denounced by two former partners between 2017 and 2018 and convicted of coercion, minor injuries, threats, and disobedience to authority, he spent 32 months in prison. On August 4, 2023, he was released after serving two-thirds of his sentence, following psychological exams that revealed "an evolution in relation to the perception of gender-based violence issues." 'El Pato' Cabrera turned professional in 1989, at the age of 20, and joined the American circuit in 2007.

According to official PGA Tour data, he earned $14.8 million in career winnings. His trophy cabinet, which includes dozens of victories in international tournaments, only boasts three wins on the PGA Tour, the last of which was The Greenbrier Classic in the 2013-2014 season.

However, the two victories that complete his success in the North American professional circuit were 'Majors': the U.S. Open, achieved in his debut year, and the Masters, a feat unmatched by any other Latin American player, and this year it will be contested once again without 'El Pato' Cabrera.

Angel Cabrera
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