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Angel Cabrera to receive a gold putter

Tiger Woods has his Sunday red. Angel Cabrera prefers yellow.

Cabrera wore the same color shirt when he won the U.S. Open at Oakmont two years ago, and it was his color of choice when he won his two biggest tournaments on the European Tour—the Benson & Hedges in 2002 and the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in 2005.

It blended nicely with Masters Green, the official color of the jacket at Augusta National.

But with green also comes gold.

Ping Golf, which has sponsored the Argentine for 15 years, has a tradition of giving a solid gold version of the putter used in major championship victories. This will be Cabrera’s second gold putter.

Ping founder Karsten Solheim long ago built a vault to store gold-plated replicas of every putter used in a tour victory, with the player also getting a gold-plated putter. When his son, John Solheim, took over as president in 1995, he put his own touch on tradition by awarding every major champion (male and female) a solid gold putter.

Ping spokesman Pete Samuels said the cost depends on the type of putter and the cost of gold.

As for shipping costs?

“We usually hand deliver those,” he said with a laugh.

That Cabrera would get a solid gold putter only makes sense for his Masters victory.

Asked about the key shot that won him the U.S. Open, Cabrera was adamant that it was his driver, particularly the tee shot on the 18th hole at Oakmont that set up a safe par on a daunting hole. He won by one shot over Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk.

Augusta National has its own tradition of asking the Masters champion to donate one club he found the most significant in victory.

“It has to be the putter,” said his caddie, Ruben “Gordo” Yorio.

Cabrera got into the playoff with a nervy 4-footer on the 18th hole, then made an 8-footer to save par on the 18th again to stay alive in the playoff. Easily overlooked is the putt that made all this possible—an 18-footer for birdie on No. 16 after Kenny Perry nearly made a hole-in-one to seemingly take control of the Masters.


April 15, 2009

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