AUGUST, CA – A photo of him still stands on the wall of the champions in the Augusta National press building, by Thor Imelman’s Phil Mickelson. His chair for the Champions League dinner was empty on Tuesday night, but if there was an invitation to play at the Masters this year, no one would see it.
Until this week they play on Tuesday, Angel Cabrera He is in prison in Argentina, where he has been serving two years for gender-based violence. And there is a possibility that he could be punished longer.
The glory of 2009 never seemed so far away.
“Many children grow up without role models, they make bad decisions, and the fury they carry inside is more prevalent,” he said. Charlie Eps, a professional golfer from Houston who has a father-son relationship with Cabrera. “But that does not justify doing bad things.”
Cabrera was an incredible champion, a street kid who grew up without parents, had no formal education. A huge crowd greeted him when he returned to Argentina after winning the 2007 US Open, and a parade was held in his honor.
Then he won his second profession, the first South American to wear the green jacket, winning in 2009. In the Masters with three holes in the playoffs. His future in golf knew no bounds.
But what once seemed like a happy story is now sour: no one can predict when Cabrera will walk free, let alone play golf again.
Meanwhile, Epps looks at the empty house in Cabrera in Houston and wonders what happened.
“I saw a lot in his golf. “He was a perfectionist from the beginning, he had a bad temper,” Eps said. “He has never had a sports psychologist or anything like that, he grew up proving it. “As soon as he took control, he became a champion as he is.”
While the details of Cabrera’s case remain unclear to some extent, he was accused of gender-based violence against his ex-partner; Prosecutors are also investigating the allegations of two other women, including the mother of her children, and her lawyer says there is a possibility she could be charged with more crimes.
It is clear that Cabrera, who was arrested in Brazil in January 2021, after prosecutors issued international warrants for not appearing at his first trial. He was convicted in July 2021 of assaulting, threatening or harassing his partner Cecilia Torres Mana from 2016 to 2018. He will not be released until at least January, despite his innocence.
“There was no crime,” his lawyer, Carlos Hayrapetyan, told the Associated Press on Wednesday, adding that the charges were “out of frustration, out of frustration.” Hayrapetyan said that in the registered cases “the general thing is that there was no physical violence, but an exchange of loud words.”
The rise of Cabrera in the world of golf was not as meteoric as it seemed. Abandoned by his parents, he started working as a caddy at the age of 8 to earn enough money to eat. It was not long before he decided to go in for sports.
Epps was living in Argentina at the time, Cabrera was filming for some of his friends. This led to the beginning of a relationship between the two, where Epps served as a mentor, a father figure for the young golfer. The two reconnected when Cabrera became a professional, their work leading to the Argentine’s victory in the 2007 US Open.
“He really wanted to improve his game, he saw that everyone had a coach, he asked me to help him,” said Eps. “He is a good golfer, he hits the ball well. “He is a very athletic, he could be a footballer or even a defender if he grew up watching football.”
Epps says he has not spoken to Cabrera since he was in prison or that he oversees the home of a golfer in Houston. He hopes to work with the Argentine, who is now 52 years old, when he is released from prison and tries to resume his career. “I wish him all the best, I think he has a lot of golf left,” said Eps. “I think he will be a better person, at least I hope so.”