Home Sport Fall from grace has left Masters champion sitting in jail cell

Fall from grace has left Masters champion sitting in jail cell

Fall from grace has left Masters champion sitting in jail cell


His image remains to be 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 was empty, although, and if there was an invitation to play the Masters, nobody noticed it.

Because the Masters unfolds this week, Angel Cabrera sits in an Argentine jail.

Initially jailed for assaulting, threatening and harassing a former associate, he was then sentenced to a further two years late final yr for assaulting one other former girlfriend.

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

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“A number of youngsters develop up and not using a function mannequin and make some unhealthy selections, their anger inside them takes over,” stated Charlie Epps final yr, a Houston golf professional who has a father-son relationship with Cabrera.

“However it doesn’t justify doing the improper factor.”

Cabrera was an unlikely champion to start with, a road urchin who grew up with out mother and father and by no means had a proper schooling, The New York Put up reviews.

An enormous crowd greeted him when he flew dwelling after profitable the 2007 U.S. Open and there was a parade in his honour.

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.

He additionally holds a spot within the hearts and minds of Australians after his elegant actions within the wake of an agonising defeat to Adam Scott in a playoff on the 2013 Masters.

However what was as soon as a feel-good story has now gone unhealthy, and nobody can predict when Cabrera will likely be free, a lot much less play golf once more.

In the meantime, Epps watches Cabrera’s vacant home in Houston and wonders the way it all went improper.

“I noticed a whole lot of it in his golf, he was a perfectionist early on and had a mood,” Epps stated. “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 bought it beneath management, he turned a champion he’s.”

Whereas the main points of Cabrera’s case stay considerably murky, he was charged with gender violence with a former associate and is now attempting to finish his jail sentence.

What is obvious is that Cabrera — who was arrested in Brazil in January 2021 after prosecutors issued a global warrant for not attending his first trial — was convicted in July 2021 of assaulting, threatening and harassing Cecilia Torres Mana, his associate between 2016 and 2018.

“There was no crime,” his lawyer, Carlos Hairabedian informed The Related Press through cellphone from Argentina on Wednesday, alleging the costs had been introduced “out of spite and resentment.” Hairabedian claimed that within the reported instances “the frequent denominator is that there was no bodily violence however an alternate of high-sounding phrases.”

Cabrera’s rise within the golf world wasn’t precisely meteoric, although it appeared prefer it on the time. Deserted by his mother and father, he turned a caddie on the age of 8 to earn sufficient cash to eat and it wasn’t lengthy earlier than he took up the sport himself.

Epps was residing in Argentina on the time and Cabrera caddied for a few of his buddies, main the 2 to start a relationship with Epps serving as an teacher and father determine to the younger participant. They’d reconnect after Cabrera turned professional, with the work resulting in his breakthrough win on the 2007 U.S. Open.

“He actually needed to get higher and he noticed all people had a coach so he requested me to assist him,” Epps stated.

“He’s a top quality golfer, a top quality ball striker. He’s actually athletic and will have been a soccer participant, or perhaps a linebacker if he grew up round soccer.”

The Open win established him as a serious champion, even when the golf world didn’t completely embrace him. Cabrera didn’t converse English and by no means appeared to achieve the sort of acclaim one other participant might need, even after including the inexperienced jacket along with his three-hole playoff win in opposition to Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell.

The participant often known as el Pato (the duck) due to his uncommon gait informed reporters in Spanish afterwards that it was the dream of a lifetime.

″Unimaginable … I nonetheless can’t consider it,” he stated.

Epps says he hasn’t spoken to Cabrera since he was imprisoned, although he watches the home the golfer owns in Houston. He nonetheless holds out hope of working with the now 52-year-old when he will get out of jail and tries to renew his profession on the senior tour.

“I need one of the best for him and I feel he’s bought a whole lot of golf forward of him,” Epps stated. “I feel he’ll come out of this a greater man. A minimum of that’s the hope.”

— This story initially appeared on nypost.com and has been republished with permission