July 5, 2022


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From inexperienced jacket to jail, the massive fall of Masters champion Angel Cabrera

AUGUSTA, Ga. — His image nonetheless hangs on the Wall of Champions within the press constructing at Augusta Nationwide, sandwiched between Trevor Immelman and Phil Mickelson. His chair on the champion’s dinner on Tuesday night time was empty, nevertheless, and if there was an invite to play the Masters this yr, nobody noticed it.

Because the Masters unfolds this week, Angel Cabrera is in an Argentinian jail. He’s serving a two-year sentence for home violence, and he faces an excellent longer sentence.

The glory of 2009 by no means appeared so far-off.

“Plenty of youngsters develop up with out function fashions and make unhealthy choices, their anger inside them takes over,” mentioned Charlie Epps, a golf professional from Houston who has a father-son relationship with Cabrera. “However that doesn’t justify doing the unsuitable factor.”

Cabrera was an unlikely champion to start with, a avenue child who grew up with out dad and mom and by no means had a proper training. An enormous crowd greeted him when he returned dwelling after profitable the 2007 US Open and there was a parade in his honor.

Then he turned a two-time main champion – and the primary South American to win a inexperienced jacket – by profitable a three-way Masters playoff in 2009. His future in golf appeared limitless.

Angel Cabrera gained the 2009 Masters.

However what was as soon as a feel-good story has now gone awry, and nobody can predict when Cabrera might be free, not to mention play golf once more.

In the meantime, Epps seems to be at Cabrera’s vacant Houston dwelling and wonders the way it all went unsuitable.

“I noticed plenty of that in his golf, he was a perfectionist early on and had a mood,” Epps mentioned. “He by no means had a sports activities psychologist or something like that and he grew up with a chip on his shoulder. As soon as he obtained it beneath management, he turned the champion he’s.

Whereas the main points of Cabrera’s case stay considerably hazy, he has been charged with gender-based violence with a former companion and will face additional time for allegedly threatening the lady over the cellphone after being charged. Prosecutors are additionally taking a look at allegations from two different ladies, together with the mom of his youngsters, and his lawyer says there’s a probability he could possibly be charged with different crimes.

What is evident is that Cabrera – who was arrested in Brazil in January 2021 after prosecutors issued a global warrant for failing to attend his first trial – was discovered responsible in July 2021 of assaulting , threatened and harassed Cecilia Torres Mana, his companion between 2016 and 2018. He shouldn’t be launched from jail till subsequent January on the earliest, regardless of his pleas of innocence.

“There was no crime,” his lawyer, Carlos Hairabedian, advised The Related Press by cellphone from Argentina on Wednesday, alleging the costs had been introduced “out of spite and resentment.” Hairabedian claimed that within the circumstances reported “the widespread denominator is that there was no bodily violence however an trade of resounding phrases”.

Angel Cabrera
Angel Cabrera

Cabrera’s rise on the earth of golf hasn’t precisely been meteoric, though it appeared prefer it on the time. Deserted by his dad and mom, he turned a caddy on the age of 8 to earn sufficient cash to eat and wasted no time in moving into the sport himself.

Epps was residing in Argentina on the time, and Cabrera caddyed for a few of his associates, which led to the 2 starting a relationship with Epps serving as an teacher and father determine for the younger participant. They’d reconnect after Cabrera turned skilled, the job resulting in his decisive victory on the 2007 US Open.

“He actually wished to enhance and he noticed that everybody had a coach, so he requested me to assist him,” Epps mentioned. “He’s a top quality golfer, a top quality ball hitter. He’s actually athletic and will have been a footballer, or perhaps a linebacker if he had grown up round soccer.

Successful the Open established him as an important champion, even when the golf world hasn’t totally embraced him. Cabrera spoke no English and by no means appeared to earn the sort of acclaim one other participant may get, even after including the inexperienced jacket along with his three-hole playoff win over Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell.

The participant often known as el Pato (the duck) due to his uncommon gait advised reporters in Spanish afterwards that it was his life’s dream.

“Unbelievable…I nonetheless can’t consider it,” he mentioned.

Epps says he hasn’t spoken to Cabrera since he was jailed, though he’s been watching the house the golfer owns in Houston. He nonetheless holds out hope of working with the 52-year-old when he’s launched from jail and is making an attempt to renew his profession on the senior circuit.

“I need the perfect for him and I feel he’s obtained plenty of golf forward of him,” Epps mentioned. “I feel he’ll come out higher. At the least that’s the hope.