AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Angel Cabrera learned the game as a caddy at Cordoba Golf in Villa Allende in his native Argentina.
And the man who shares the final-round lead at the 77th Masters with Brandt Snedeker is headed back there next week to play in a PGA TOUR Latinoamerica event there.
Cabrera, who is bidding for his second Green Jacket, has won the Abierto OSDE Del Centro seven times in its 82-year-old history. Those wins came in a seven-year span, including consecutively in 2005, '06 and '07, and he shot a course-record 60 in his 2001 victory.
He and his mentor Eduardo Romero have reconstructed all 18 greens at the course over the last two years. Mindful of his roots, Cabrera also donated money to build a comfortable caddy shack.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Playing in the day's penultimate group, Angel Cabrera just birdied the 10th hole at Augusta National to grab sole possession of the Masters lead at 7 under.
Cabrera, who vaulted into contention when he birdied five of his last six holes in the second round, now leads Aussies Jason Day and Marc Leishman by one stroke. Day has just made the turn after grinding out nine pars while Leishman, who is playing with Cabrera, is 1 under for the day.
Matt Kuchar, who won the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship in February and will defend his PLAYERS title next month, is the leader in the clubhouse at 4 under after Saturday's 69. The round was his second in the 60s this week.
Also at 4 under are Steve Stricker, who has one hole remaining, and reigning FedExCup champ Brandt Snedeker. Snedeker has made 11 pars on Saturday.
Tim Clark posted an early round of 67 to get to 3 under. Also on the course at that number are Adam Scott and Jim Furyk, who have played 11 holes, and Fred Couples, who just made the turn with Day.
Angel Cabrera will enter this weekend seeking his third major win. (Ehrmann/Getty Images)
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Thanks to a sizzling finish, Angel Cabrera is nicely positioned going into the weekend at Augusta National. Considering he's a past Masters champ whose only two PGA TOUR wins have come in majors, he's a player likely to be heard from down the stretch on Sunday.
Cabrera birdied four of his last five holes in Friday's second round to shoot a 3-under 69. That leaves him at 4 under, just one shot off the current lead.
Those four birdies came on holes 14, 15, 16 and 18. Throughout his Masters career, Cabrera has played holes 14-16 in a cumulative 22 under par.
"The big difference was that the back nine I was hitting very well off the tee, leaving my second shots close and I was able to make some birdies," the Argentine said.
Cabrera won the 2009 Masters in a playoff against Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell. He finished seventh in 2011 after entering the final round in second.
Despite that track record, Cabrera has a healthy fear of Augusta National.
"For me, Augusta is never easy," he said.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Phil Mickelson has just teed off but he now has company at the top of the leaderboard in the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
A round of 65 that included birdies on his last two holes has propeled two-time major champion Angel Cabrera to 11 under. Keegan Bradley is also at that number with two holes remaining while John Rollins has just made back-to-back birdies on his 11th and 12th holes of the day to join them.
Robert Garrigus shot 66 and is 10 under for the tournament. Ryan Moore has made five birdies in his 17 holes and is also 10 under.
Mickelson, who shot 60 in the first round after narrowly missing birdie putts on his last two holes, has just parred the first hole. He is playing with Jason Dufner and Rickie Fowler.
Pat Perez, who went to Arizona State and lives in Scottsdale, was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard. Perez made a double-bogey 6 on the 17th hole but signed for a 5.
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
At an average of 305.1 yards per drive for the week, runner-up Troy Matteson had the highest driving distance among the top 15 finishers at the John Deere Classic.
It took a little work to get there from an equipment standpoint.
Matteson, a two-time winner on the PGA TOUR, came to TPC Deere Run telling TaylorMade reps he was ‘killing’ his RBZ fairway wood but was not able to hit a power draw on command with his driver. Instead, he was hitting pulls.
Matteson’s original driver, an 8-degree TaylorMade R11S, had been tuned to a lower position while the ASP sole plate was in the closed setting – in short, a low-lofted driver with a open face, setting up closed. To help fix, TaylorMade reps gave him a higher-lofted driver with a closed clubface that appeared square, shortened by an inch to get the club more vertical and promote the draw.
In the end, going from a 7.5-degree/2-degree open face to an 8.5 degree/1-degree closed/1-inch shorter club immediately promoted more ball speed, higher launch and a higher spin rate, allowing the ball to stay in the air and turn right-to-left.
How much the switch pay off? In the first round at the John Deere, Matteson made 10 birdies in a round of 61 and ultimately lost in a playoff to Zach Johnson.
ANSER MEN: At the other end of driver spectrum was Ping, a holdout in the adjustable driver craze – until earlier this month. Ping’s new Anser driver is its first entry into the adjustable market, with lofts able to be tuned a half-degree up or down.
Louis Oosthuizen (pictured at right) put a Anser driver in the bag at last week’s Scottish Open and brought it to the British Open, where he’s the defending champion. Former Masters champion Angel Cabrera has been working with an Anser 3-wood.
SPECIAL DELIVERY: Callaway’s X Utility Prototype irons have been hot on TOUR and will continue to be this week at the British Open, where accuracy is far more important than distance. The company has been frantically shipping clubheads from its PGA TOUR trailer overseas; clubmaker Roger Cleveland even traveled to England with five 18-degree X Utility Prototype heads in his baggage.
BAG BITS: K.J. Choi won the 2011 PLAYERS with Miura irons; last week he finished T13 at John Deere with Callaway RAZR Musclebacks. … Blake Adams switched from steel shafts in his TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC irons to Aldila-prototype graphites at the John Deere. Most PGA TOUR pros prefer steel in irons. … Chez Reavie first began working with a TaylorMade Ghost Spider belly putter at the AT&T National, finally putting it into play at TPC Deere Run and finishing T68.
SCRIPT: You know you’re important when your apparel supplier dresses you. Check out how Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose are scripted by TaylorMade-adidas.
WINNER’S BAG: Johnson at the John Deere
Driver: Titleist 910D2 (Mitsubishi Diamana Blue Board, 9.5 degrees)
Fairway woods: Titleist 910F (15.0 degrees) and 909 F2 (18.5 degrees)
Hybrid: Titleist 909H (21 degrees)
Irons: Titleist AP1 (4) and AP2 (5-9)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design (48, 54, 60 degrees)
Putter: SeeMore FGP
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Angel Cabrera has withdrawn from THE PLAYERS Championship, citing personal reasons.
The Argentine opened with a 78 Thursday that included a 9 on the par-3 17th hole, where he hit three balls into the water before finding the putting surface.
This was Cabrera’s 10th PLAYERS Championship and will be the sixth time he didn’t make it to the weekend with five missed cuts. His best finish here was a tie for 14th in 2009.
Cabrera was the third player to withdraw on Thursday. D.A. Points pulled out just before teeing off, while Hunter Haas withdrew after three holes.
The pairings have been unveiled for this week’s PGA TOUR Matchups Game on Facebook. You can check out the Matchups for the Transitions Championship below, or on the PGA TOUR’s Facebook page.
Participants have until 6 a.m. ET Thursday to make their picks. Log on to the PGA TOUR Facebook page and click the Matchups link to make your picks for this week, or to sign up.
THIS WEEK’S MATCHUPS
|Gary Woodland vs. Webb Simpson||Woodland handed Simpson a tough loss at Copperhead last year|
|Justin Rose vs. Luke Donald||Rose working on a season like the one Donald authored in 2011|
|Brandt Snedeker vs. Jhonattan Vegas||It's Vanderbilt (Snedeker) against Texas (Vegas) at Copperhead|
|Ryo Ishikawa vs. K.J. Choi||Asia's top young player takes on Asia's best over-40 player|
|Angel Cabrera vs. Zach Johnson||Two former Masters champions on road to Augusta National|
PGATOUR.COM’s countdown of the Top 100 Players to Watch in 2012 begins today.
Each day, we’ll also post a note in TOUR Report with the latest list of players.
That will give you an opportunity to weigh in on how you think those players will perform next year – and whether you think we have them ranked too low or too high. After all, just like snowflakes, no two lists will be the same.
So for the debut of this year’s list, here are Nos. 91-100. Click on each player’s link for his preview page, including this year’s new addition of the Three Wise Men – Chris DiMarco, Arron Oberholser and Craig Perks, who offer their takes on each of the players on the list .
Don’t forget to let us know what you think.