Angel Cabrera took a leaf out of Louis Oosthuizen’s book when he bounced back from losing the Masters in a play-off to win on tour the following week.
The South African claimed the Malaysian Open 12 months ago but Cabrera pulled off his win in his home town, chipping in for an eagle two at the last for a seven under 64 before going on to beat compatriot Rafael Gómez at the first extra hole for his record-equalling eighth Abierto OSDE del Centro win. Scores
As Waterville’s Mark Murphy slipped to a closing 76 that relegated him to joint 17th at Córdoba Golf Club in Argemtina, nine shots outside the play-off on nine over, it mattered more to Cabrera that his win came on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.
“Had a fun week in Cordoba @PGATOUR_LA @cabrera_pato is unreal,” Murphy tweeted before heading to Uruguay for this week’s Robert de Vincenzo Invitational in Montevideo. “Congrads brother. Uruguay tomorrow #imgettingclose #ilwinsoon”
Six shots behind overnight after a third round 76, two-time major champion Cabrera produced a spectacular final round - the best of the day by three shots - to lift the title.
“I was a little bit annoyed with myself could I hadn’t been able to shoot a score that put me in contention,” Cabrera explained. “I hadn’t played well any day and that was reflected yesterday with the five over round and I was a bit worried.
“But I got off to a good start today, hit a good tee shot on the first and that gave me a bit of confidence. I birdied the second and from there I said, it’s up to me, I have to keep making birdies.”
With the par-71, 6,876-yard track playing easier than on the first three days, Cabrera birdied the seventh and ninth and followed a bogey at the 10th with birdies at the 12th and 13th.
Believing he could intimidate his rivals with a birdie or two more, he picked up another shot at the 16th and then eagled the 386-yard 18th, chipping in for a two that raised the roof and sent a clear message to leader Gómez
“It was incredible,” Cabrera said of his eagle at the last. “The truth is that I was a little lucky that my ball finished there so close to the hole and I was able to hit one of my best chips in a long time. “
Sitting pretty in the clubhouse on level par 284, Cabrera looked on as Gómez was aware what he had to do from the 14th, failed to birdie the par-five 16th and then bogeyed the 17th to go to the last one behind.
Needing a birdie to force a play-off, he pulled it off but found a cross bunker at the first extra hole and hit his second into the hospitalty stands.
Cabrera holed a six footer for birdie and victory, explaining: “Names mean nothing in a playoff. If you make a mistake, you throw away everything you have done for 72 holes. I was very focussed. I hit a good drvie, a very good chip and the putt was perfect.
“This is a very important victory for me, here in Villa Allende, with my people, at home. I’m proud of the fact that this is part of the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.
Cabrera earned $27,000 to move up to third in the money list behind Ted Purdy and Manuel Villegas with the top five earning Web.com status.
Murphy earned $2,100 in his first event on the circuit and is 59th, just $15,000 outside the top five.