Villa Allende, Cordoba, Argentina (April 21, 2013) - For the second consecutive week, Argentina’s superstar Ángel Cabrera had a magical Sunday that involved a playoff.
A week he came very close to winning his third major at Augusta National, but on this Sunday, behind a sensational final round of 7-under par-64, came from behind to beat fellow countryman Rafael Gomez in a extra hole at the 82nd Abierto OSDE del Centro.
Although yesterday Cabrera said that if he made 65 in the final round he could have a chance, he began the final round with many doubts. His total was 7-over par and placed him in a tie for 20th place, six strokes behind the leader.
“I was a little upset with myself because I had been unable to post a good enough round to get in contention. I hadn’t play well any of the past three days, so I was a little worried,” Cabrera admitted. “Fortunately, I hit a good tee shot at the first and that got my confidence going. Then I birdied the second hole and I thought: that’s it, you just have to keep making birdies and I’ll have a shot.”
With the 6,876-yard par-71 layout playing less difficult than the previous three days, Cabrera added birdies on 7 and 9 to move closer to the top. A bogey on 10 did not slow him down, as he charged back with birdies on 12 and 13 to put his name on the leaderboards.
Knowing that a couple of the birdies on the remaining five holes could raise his name even higher and intimidate his rivals, Cabrera kept charging. He managed to collect another birdie on 16 and then hit his tee shot just outside the green at the par-four 18 to have one final chance.
What followed was further proof of his star-power, as Cabrera chipped in for eagle to have the crowd erupt into a huge roar. The eagle finish eventually got him into a playoff in which he edged out his countryman Rafael Gómez.
“That eagle on 18 was awesome. Actually, I was lucky that the ball stopped there, close to the hole and I made one of my best chips in recent times,” he said about his amazing finish.
When Cabrera made his eagle and set the total at the clubhouse at 284, Rafael Gomez could hear the roar of the public from the 14th hole onwards and knew that his rival was the “Duck.” No one but the two of them had a chance at that point.
The experienced Argentine was unable to birdie the par-5 16th and hit the crossbunker on 17th to score a bogey and went one stroke behind Cabrera. But on the final hole, the "Apache" showed his talent and got the birdie to tie tournament and force the playoff.
In defining the hole, they played again the 18th, Cabrera found the fairway, while Gomez fell into a crossbunker. His shot from the sand went in sponsor tents, opening the door to Cabrera’s victory, his eighth at his home course, becoming the top winner of this event along with the Argentine Martin Pose.
"In a playoff no matter the names. If you mishit all you did in 72 holes it doesn’t count. I was very focused. I hit a very good start and then a very good chip and putt was perfect," Cabrera said on the winning birdie.
"For me it is very important victory, here in Villa Allende, with my people, my house and that belongs to the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica for me is an honor."
Cabrera has two Latin American Tour victories in as many starts.
Sunshine and clear skies. The wind was between 10 and 20 km / h from the northwest. The maximum temperature was 29 degrees Celsius.
Argentina's Gómez is one of the players with more wins in recent years in Latin American golf. He grew up playing with Angel Cabrera, "so I was not nervous to play with him, I know him for many years, beyond which I acknowledge is a monster, a really star." Gomez was born in Ranelagh, a province of Buenos Aires, and finished second in the 82 ° Abierto OSDE del Centro.
"I found out Angel’s the eagle on the 14th but I still sent someone to confirm me, but just knew I had my chance. Too bad I could not get off the 16 and the 17 I went to the crossbunker," said Gomez, who had made birdie at 2, 5 and 8 to take three-shot lead midway through the afternoon.
"Anyway I have a very good feeling. I reunited with my game and that's the most important. I won the best, so I have nothing to reproach myself. "
The leader after the second and third rounds started bogey-bogey-par-bogey and lost control of the tournament. He failed to convert a single birdie and two double-bogeys and a bogey on the back nine led to a 79 and a tie for 17th place.
Rounds under par
Showing how the conditions changed with the wind blowing with less force on Sunday, there were 10 players shooting 70 or less after just 15 rounds were under par over the first three rounds.
Scoring Average score on the par-71 Cordoba Golf Club
IN (35) OUT (36) TOTAL (71)
Round 1 37.342 37.952 75.294 (+4.294)
Round 2 38.064 38.123 76.187 (+5.187)
Round 3 37.430 37.743 75.170 (+4.174)
Round 4 37.342 37.936 74.278 (+4.278)
Toughest and easiest hole
The most difficult hole of the final round was the 441-yard par-4 11th, which had an average of 4.55 strokes. The easiest hole was the 494-yard par-5 12th, with an average of 4.89.
PGA TOUR Latinoamérica travels to Montevideo, Uruguay, to celebrate Roberto De Vicenzo Invitational Copa NEC, April 25-28. The 72-hole tournament will be the fourth of the season and will be held at Club de Golf del Uruguay, which was designed by Alister MacKenzie.