The case of the missing golf ball

SAN FRANCISCO – So into the cool, calm air went Angel Cabrera’s drive at the short, par-4 13th, a powerful swipe that was going right, right, right . . . and then where?

No one seemed to know. Not the folks down by the green 317 yards away, not the fans in the stands, not even those at a line of portable toilets well past the trees.

So, where was the ball?

“In the tree. It’s stuck in the trees,” yelled a fan, and soon several others agreed. They began pointing and as Cabrera came down toward the trees he looked up and agreed. His ball never came down from a group of cypress trees.

What followed were some moments of great levity. International Team assistant captain Frank Nobilo asked if he could borrow a photographer’s camera. The man said yes and Nobilo pointed it toward the trees, trying to identify a ball that Cabrera said he saw. A marshal focused his binoculars on the same spot. Fans told Cabrera that he had the wrong ball, that there was another one in the tree to the left. Cabrera waved them off.

Funny stuff. Finally Mike “Fluff” Cowan had to get the crowd to calm down while his man, Jim Furyk, played his second shot. It was a good one, too, a little pitch to 6 feet. When Furyk made that putt, he and Anthony Kim were 2 up and en route to a win to help the American cause.

Cabrera? He was into his bag for another ball. Stubborn cypress.

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