Angel Cabrera, the Masters on the horizon

It's been six months since Angel Cabrera, affectionately known as "El Pato" (The Duck), regained his freedom

by Andrea Gussoni
Angel Cabrera, the Masters on the horizon
© Getty Images Sport - Kevin C. Cox / Staff

It's been six months since Angel Cabrera, affectionately known as "El Pato" (The Duck), regained his freedom. The future of Cabrera's golfing career was shrouded in uncertainty, albeit with the immediate confirmation that his time away from the green had not dulled his skill.

Since then, his situation has gradually improved. In February, he participated in the Trophy Hassan II, an event on the PGA Tour Champions, finishing tied for twenty-seventh place. The real obstacle on the path to professional "normality" was the lack of a visa to enter the United States, which prevented him from competing in the Masters Tournament, where he holds the title of Past Champion (2009 edition, won in a playoff against Chad Campbell and Kenny Perry).

Angel Cabrera, results

The horizon has changed. The Argentine champion, after undergoing a series of psychological tests at the US embassy in Buenos Aires, has obtained a brand new visa. This means, first and foremost, that Cabrera will be able to regularly compete in Champions Tour events held in the United States.

Indeed, "El Pato" is planning to make Houston his new home. But it also means, and perhaps most importantly, that the Argentine will present himself at the gates of Augusta National Golf Club at the beginning of the week of April 7-13, 2025, and participate in the Masters Tournament.

And I believe that Thursday will be a special day for Angel Cabrera. Ángel Leopoldo Cabrera, affectionately known as "El Pato" for his distinctive waddling gait, is an Argentine professional golfer who has left an indelible mark on both the European Tour and PGA Tour.

Born on September 12, 1969, in Córdoba, Argentina, Cabrera's journey to golfing greatness is as remarkable as his achievements on the course. Raised in modest circumstances, Cabrera's childhood was marked by his parents' separation when he was just three or four years old.

He was primarily raised by his paternal grandmother until the age of 16, when he moved in with Silvia, a woman twelve years his senior, and her four boys. It was during this time that Cabrera's passion for golf began to flourish.

At the age of 10, Cabrera started working as a caddy at the Córdoba Country Club, where he honed his skills by competing against other caddies for money. His raw talent and fierce determination soon caught the attention of club members, one of whom bought him his first set of clubs at the age of 16.

With his stocky build and trademark habit of smoking on the course, Cabrera became a distinctive presence in the world of golf. Renowned for his powerful swing, he quickly made a name for himself as one of the sport's most formidable competitors.

Cabrera's influence extends beyond his own achievements, as both of his sons, Federico and Ángel, have followed in his footsteps as professional golfers. While Federico made his attempt to qualify for the PGA Tour in 2011, Ángel joined the Canadian Tour in 2012.

The Cabrera family continues to leave its mark on the golfing world, with Ángel and his sons competing on PGA Tour Latinoamérica. However, Cabrera's life has not been without controversy. In January 2021, he was arrested in Rio de Janeiro following a red notice issued by Interpol.

This stemmed from his departure from Argentina without authorization during a criminal trial where he faced charges including assault, theft, and illegal intimidation. After spending several months in a Brazilian prison, Cabrera was extradited to Argentina in June 2021.

Subsequently, he was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison in July 2021. Further legal troubles followed, with Cabrera being convicted of a second assault in November 2022 and receiving an additional sentence of two years and four months.

He was finally released in August 2023 and was cleared to compete in PGA Tour-sanctioned events later that year. Despite the challenges he has faced off the course, Ángel Cabrera's impact on the world of golf remains undeniable.

His journey is a testament to resilience, determination, and the enduring love for the game that has defined his career.

Angel Cabrera