Cabrera wins second battle with hecklers
DUBLIN, Ohio Three things seem to happen during a long weather delay. One, people get wet. Two, people stand around and wait. Three, people have plenty of time to drink more alcoholic beverages.
No. 3, a.k.a. liquid courage, apparently was a factor in the Presidents Cup competition Friday at Muirfield Village.
PHOTOS: Presidents Cup, Day 2
A look at photos from Muirfield Village during Day 2 of the Presidents Cup.
The interesting development happened on the 12th green, where Angel Cabrera backed away from a 28-foot birdie putt three times because of crowd noise Friday night.
A few spectators yelled as the two-time major champion from Argentina first stood over his ball. He regrouped and addressed the ball again and fans yelled again.
Let partner Marc Leishman take it from there.
“The third time he was over it, someone yelled out really loudly, probably a split second before he was going to take the putter away,” the Australian said. “It was a pretty big distraction for him.”
That final scream sounded something like “Pato,” which means duck in Spanish. Cabrera’s nickname is El Pato, or The Duck.
After all that, Cabrera walked away, reset and rolled in the long putt. It gave his doubles team a 2-up lead in a foursomes match against Webb Simpson and Brandt Snedeker. The International duo was 1 up through 13 holes when play was halted because of darkness.
After making the putt, Cabrera pointed to the crowd and fist-pumped with great vigor.
“It was pretty satisfying for him,” Leishman said. “It’s something that I think fires him up.”
Leishman said the American crowd had attempted to get one particular spectator to “shut his mouth” before Cabrera finally putted.
“(We) got probably the biggest cheer of the week for us when he rolled that putt in,” Leishman said.
Cabrera also was distracted by minor noise in a bleacher behind the 10th green the day before. He backed away from a long putt a couple of times then, but wasn’t as fortunate as he was Friday. He three-putted, missing a 2 1/2-footer as he and Leishman fell 3-down en route to a four-ball loss to Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar.
One photographer who witnessed that Thursday scene said Cabrera has been known to have “rabbit ears” at times. “He’s glared at me a couple of times,” the snapper said.