Angel Cabrera played asleep during most of the final round on Sunday. At one point, he was the only player in the top 13 who was over par. But he showed up when it mattered most.
Cabrera was +2 after 10 holes, seemingly out of the tournament, with Woods and Mickelson on fire and his playing partner Kenny Perry holding steady at even on the day.
But Cabrera birdied three holes down the stretch while Perry bogied 17 and 18 to allow Angel and Chad Campbell back into the tournament, all three pairing up for a sudden death playoff.
After Campbell missed a three footer on the first playoff hole, Perry and Cabrera moved on to the 7th hole–the second hole in the sudden death matchup. Perry missed his approach shot badly right and couldn’t get up and down. Cabrera made a solid two putt to win his second major.
There’s your brief recap. Congratulations to Angel Cabrera.
But, me, I’m a bit disappointed. Tiger and Phil were on fire through 16. This was setting up to be one of the most memorable final rounds in Masters history. Unfortunately, Woods faded on 17 and 18 and Mickelson lost confidence in his flat blade, missing a few short birdie putts. When was the last time you saw Tiger hit dead center into a tree like he did on 18?
It’s been awhile since the golf world has seen a Tiger-Phil showdown like that one. With the television coverage and the crowd noise, you would’ve thought Woods and Mickelson were in the final group. The Perry and Cabrera pairing seemed to have the gallery energy of a Hooters event (no offense to Hooters players, of course.)
So the ending was a bit anticlimactic. But, still, you can’t complain about a sudden death playoff in a major. Golf at its finest.
The first major of 2009 was a good one. On to Bethpage Black in June.
For a little more information about Bethpage Black–and the last Open played there in 2002–read my post on the subject.