Argentina’s Angel Cabrera said his experience of winning the US Open in 2007 proved an invaluable aid as he won a play-off to win this year’s Masters.
Beating Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell by parring both extra holes, Cabrera said: “The US Open got me by surprise.
“But this win I’m more prepared. I know more how things happened. I was happy with my game. I was confident, just enjoying the moments.”
Cabrera was the best of the leading contenders over the closing holes.
Although he had started the day tied with Perry for the lead on 11 under – and reached 12 under following a birdie at the third – three bogeys between the fourth and 10th left him three shots behind his American playing partner at the 13th.
However, his length off the tee helped him birdie that par five, where Perry three-putted for par, and more birdies at 15 and 16 – where he sank an awkward left-to-right putt – kept him in the mix.
“After the 10th hole I started to hit the ball good and things started to roll,” Cabrera said.
At the 18th, he nailed a tricky downhill putt to get into the play-off with Perry and Campbell, and went to the second extra hole with Perry alone following Campbell’s bogey exit – and a slice of fortune for the South American.
With the players playing the 18th again, Cabrera’s second hit a tree but ricocheted back into play. His third, a pitch from more than 100 yards was hit to about nine feet and another nerveless putt kept the 39-year-old Argentine in the race.
A solid par at the second extra hole, the 10th, was good enough for the title after Perry pulled his second shot into the rough.
The only other South American to win a major was Cabrera’s countryman Roberto de Vicenzo, who won The Open in 1967 but signed an incorrect scorecard at the 1968 Masters to hand Bob Goalby a win without a play-off