Out of prison, Angel Cabrera playing Tour-sanctioned event, but Masters unclear

Angel Cabrera

Angel Cabrera in 2019.

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Angel Cabrera is scheduled to play this week on the PGA Tour Champions circuit. 

He’s also reportedly been extended an invitation to play in a Korn Ferry Tour event next week. 

But whether the 2009 Masters winner, who was recently released from prison, will be at this year’s tournament at Augusta National remains unclear. 

Cabrera’s schedule is taking shape after he was released from a prison in his home county of Argentina in early August. He had been sentenced in July 2021 for threats and harassment of his partner, a case that was joined by another former partner. 

This week, Cabrera is listed among those in the field for the Champions’ Trophy Hassan II event in Morocco, and it will mark his first play in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event since his release. In December, Golf Digest’s Joel Beall reported that Cabrera had been told he had been reinstated to the PGA Tour and the 50-and-over PGA Tour Champions following a suspension. 

Angel Cabrera
Out of prison, Angel Cabrera can return to Masters on 1 condition
By: Nick Piastowski

The Champions tour’s president, Miller Brady, told Golfweek’s Adam Schupak last month that Cabrera “has the right to play.”

“He’s been gone for three years and served time in jail and had time for personal reflection,” Brady said. “It’s a bit like Jim Thorpe, who spent time in jail [for tax evasion] and was welcomed back. It’s a little different. I don’t know if he can travel in the United States because he needs a visa. I think guys forgive. I’m not sure if spouses will forgive, that’s the bigger question. But he has the right to play.”

Next week, as first reported by Schupak, Cabrera is expected to play in the Korn Ferry Tour’s Argentina Open, another PGA Tour-backed tournament. Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine reported Tuesday that Cabrera would play under a sponsor’s invitation from the Argentina Golf Association, and, notably, the winner of the event will receive a spot in this year’s Open Championship

His status for the Masters, set for April 11 to 14, remains unclear. Cabrera’s 2009 victory granted him an exemption into the major, but as of Tuesday afternoon, he was listed under “past champions not playing” on the Masters website

Last month, during a press conference at the Latin America Amateur Championship in Panama, Masters chairman Fred Ridley said Cabrera would “definitely” be welcomed back to this year’s tournament, on the condition that he obtains a visa to travel. 

“Angel certainly is one of our great champions,” Ridley said. “As we all know, he has been unable to participate in the Masters the last couple of years due to legal issues. Presently, we have been in constant contact with Angel’s representatives. He presently is not able to enter the United States. He doesn’t have a visa, and I know that that process is being worked through.  

“We certainly wish him the best of luck with that, and we’ll definitely welcome him back if he’s able to straighten out those legal issues.”

In December, Cabrera tied for 10th at the Abierto del Litoral (the Coast Open) in Argentina, his first tournament since being released from prison. Last month, Cabrera finished third at the Abierto del Sur (the South Open), which was also played in Argentina. 

“He wants to play, he’s learned his lesson, he wants to get on with his life,” Cabrera’s longtime instructor, Charlie Epps, told Golfweek’s Schupak in a story published in November.  

“I think he’s in a great frame of mind for what he’s been through.”

Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at nick.piastowski@golf.com.