But a splendid final 18 holes with a score of 69 saw him climbing up the ranks to eventually win one of the most important trophies in golf. With his title, he becomes the fourth foreign player in a row to win the US Open.
CABRERA, just like FILLOL and ABBONDANZIERI nicknamed THE DUCK, finished with a score of 5-over par and was one shot stronger than the Tiger! WOODS had to birdie in the last hole to force an 18-hole round tie-break on Monday, but he couldn't do it and Angel reached the sky!
The Duck is another fine product of the Cordoba province. A place of birth for many important Argentine athletes like:
Fellow golfer Eduardo ROMERO.
World Cup 1978 champion and top-scorer Mario KEMPES.
World Cup 1986 champion Oscar RUGGERI.
Tennis star David NALBANDIAN.
World Cup 1998 and 2002 player Claudio LOPEZ.
Bayern Munich midfielder Martín DEMICHELIS.
Bronze medal winner in Athens 2004 swimmer Georgina BARDACH.
Former basketball star, Marcelo MILANESIO.
San Antonio Spurs center and Olympic gold medallist Fabricio OBERTO.
Inter Milan's defenders Walter SAMUEL and Nicolás BURDISSO.
Impressive list, right? I believe Cordoba will be dancing and singing to the sound of CUARTETOS (the typical music style from the province) and drinking Fernet!
After all, CABRERA is its most recent working class hero!
VAMOS PATO CARAJO!
The following is borrowed from ESPN.com. An excellent blog by expert Jason SOBEL and a great way for those who haven't watched the last couple of holes at Oakmont, to live a great moment in Argentine sports. Read from bottom to top:
7:33 p.m.: Couple of notes before I shut this thing down for good:
• Angel Cabrera becomes the fourth straight foreign-born U.S. Open champion, which has never been done before.• There's plenty of symmetry between Cabrera's victory and that of Geoff Ogilvy last year. They both totaled winning scores of 5-over 285, both watched as more well-known players in groups behind couldn't keep up with them and both won with long-bombing, un-U.S. Open-like games. But make no mistake, like Ogilvy, Cabrera is a world-class player and among the best in the world. He's no fluky champion by any means.• Playoff. There! I wrote it -- the dreaded "p" word! You don't have to call in sick from work, I don't have to eat any more media center sugar cookies and Tiger Woods doesn't have to drop any extra cash to stay in Oakmont for one more night.
7:28 p.m.: It's got the distance ... but Woods misses it on the high side! And Angel Cabrera is the 107th U.S. Open champion!
7:27 p.m.: OK, now for Tiger's putt ...
7:26 p.m.: And here's the putt ... it looks good ... but it misses!!! Aaron Baddeley can't make his lengthy putt on the final hole!
(Ha. Had you going there, didn't I?)
7:22 p.m.: Biggest shot of the tournament ...
... and Tiger Woods hits his approach onto the green, but to the back right, about 30-35 feet above the hole.
This is the exact same putt that Cabrera had some 45 minutes ago. He was able to lag it down to about a foot or so, but that won't be good enough for Tiger. He needs to hole this. If he doesn't, Angel Cabrera is your newest U.S. Open champion. If he does, it may very well replace the chip on 16 in the final round of the 2005 Masters as the greatest pressure shot of his career.
7:19 p.m.: You may notice that no one has removed Aaron Baddeley from the course, even though he was Leotardo'd about three hours ago. Matt in Australia makes an astute point in this e-mail lovingly titled, "Greg Norman's influence on Australian golf":
Aaron Baddeley joins Adam Scott and Rod Pampling in three straight chokes by Australian players with the 54-hole lead -- Pampling at Memorial, Scott last week and now Badds.
7:15 p.m.: Well, someone is on Tiger's side. His tee shot on 18 bounds into the thick rough and pops out, landing in the first cut, just right of the fairway.
7:13 p.m.: Now this -- this! -- is where champions make their mark, right? Can you not expect Tiger to make birdie here on 18?
7:12 p.m.: Tiger is taking an awfully long time reading this putt. Here it is ...
It's true. Dead center. Tiger down one with one to play.
7:11 p.m.: Cutaway to Cabrera. Big smile on his face.
7:10 p.m.: Woods chips past the hole. Now has about 4 feet coming back for the par. Obviously needs this or the tournament is O-V-E-R.
7:07 p.m.: Tiger's bunker shot on 17 ...
... rolls up to the pin ... and past it ... and onto the fringe ... and through it ... and winds up in the thick stuff. Short-sided again. Not an easy shot.
7:05 p.m.: E-mail from David:
Seriously, what time tomorrow?
Seriously, not cool.
7:03 p.m.: E-mail from Adam:
Forget the cigarettes. Angel is calling Tiger's cell phone pretending to be the OB nurse!!!!
7:01 p.m.: Tiger Woods' tee shot on 17 ...
... lands right in the middle of the right bunker. You and I may not like hitting green-side bunker shots, but this actually sets up pretty well for Tiger. He'll have a good stance and just may be able to get up-and-down for birdie.
6:54 p.m.: Tiger Woods makes his 5-footer for par on 16. He's one back with two holes to play, while Angel Cabrera is busy pummeling a carton of Marlboro Reds right now.
6:52 p.m.: Jim Furyk makes a nice attempt for birdie on 18, but it doesn't fall and he is officially Leotardo'd. He just ran out of holes down the stretch, couldn't come all the way back.
And just as I thought it was some hour-and-a-half ago, it's a two-man race.
6:51 p.m.: E-mail from Joe C., in regards to whether you'd bet against Tiger Woods in this situation:
If this was the Tiger Woods of 2000, no way. But this is 2007, he's not at Pebble Beach, and it looks like foreign dominance of OUR U.S. Open will continue.
We will see ...
6:49 p.m.: Told you it wouldn't be an easy two-putt for Tiger Woods. He's got 5 feet left for par. Champions make these, right? Right???
6:48 p.m.: Jim Furyk to the back left fringe on 18. Calling Costantino Rocca! Is Costantino Rocca in the house?
6:46 p.m.: The ESPN.com headline writers are already trying to figure out what to post on the page should Angel Cabrera close this out. Some of the clubhouse leaders:
• "Just Ducky"• "Angel Baby"• "Up In Smoke"
(OK, that last one may have been a joke.)
6:44 p.m.: I officially want to rip the "p" key out of my keyboard.
6:43 p.m.: Tiger Woods hit an indifferent tee shot on the par-3 16th. He's going to have a tough two-putt from about 50 feet away.
Meanwhile, Jim Furyk pipes one down the middle on 18.
6:42 p.m.: Well, golf fans: Isn't this where champions elevate their game? Tiger Woods, down one shot with three to play. Anyone want to bet against him?
6:40 p.m.: Speaking of classy ... Angel Cabrera taps in for par at the last to claim the clubhouse lead at 5-over.
And we just may be looking at the fourth consecutive foreign-born winner of the U.S. Open. The only guys that can catch him? Jim Furyk, with a birdie on the final hole. Tiger Woods, with a birdie on any of the final three holes. And Bubba Watson, with birdies on each of the last two holes.