14 Apr 2009

The Duck - from poverty to the first Major of the year

8:35 am on 14 April 2009

Angel Cabrera's victory in the The Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National course in Georgia yesterday has seen him jump 51 places in the world rankings to number 18, and even in football-mad Argentina he's been given a hero's welcome on his return home.

The 39-year-old became the first South American to win the coveted green jacket after a three-way playoff with the Americans Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell to add the Masters to his 2007 US Open title.

Cabrera's affectionately known as El Pato, or 'the duck', in Argentina, and his is a true rags to riches story.

From a poor family, he was brought up by his grandmother in a deprived neighbourhood, right next to an elite golf club. He left school at 11 and started working as a caddie at the club, where he learned how to play on Mondays.

He befriended Eduardo Romero, who was also from a poor background and went on to become Argentina's best golfer - until now, that is. Romero financially supported Cabrera at crucial points in his career.