Masters winner jailed for domestic abuse eyes controversial PGA Tour return

Masters winner jailed for domestic abuse eyes controversial PGA Tour return

PGA Tour 2009 Masters winner Angel Cabrera is eyeing a return to senior competition after spending 30 months in jail for domestic violence.

Brazil’s federal police arrested the golfer in 2021 and sentenced him to two years in prison for threats and harrassment against one former partner. And in November 2022 Cabrera went through another trial for a different girlfriend for the same charges – he pled guilty.

The two sentences were joined together, bringing his total penalty to three years and ten months in prison.

During the trial, Cabera said: “Many say prison is bad, but it’s not the case. Prison has done me good.” Before being released officially, he spent the last seven months of his sentence at a minimum-security prison in Argentina.

Cabrera was released from jail on August 4. The 54-year-old served his time in Argentina and Brazil.

Charlie Epps, the coach of the 2007 U.S. Open champion and 2009 Masters winner, has stated that Cabrera has expressed his desire to return to professional golf. According to Epps, Cabrera played impressively in his last five rounds in Argentina, shooting under par.

“He wants to play, he’s learned his lesson, he wants to get on with his life. I think he’s in a great frame of mind for what he’s been through,” Epps told Golfweek. “He’s got to go through the mechanics of getting his Visa back and then approach the PGA Tour, and I think it’s going to end up being good.”

During the interview, Epps mentioned that Cabrera wanted a visa to travel to the United States. If he can obtain the visa, he must apply for reinstatement to the PGA Tour Champions, from which he was suspended due to charges against him. A spokesperson from the PGA stated that the organization doesn’t disclose any disciplinary actions against its members, so Cabrera’s current status still needs to be clarified.

The same spokesperson released a statement on behalf of the PGA, saying: “The Tour is aware that Angel Cabrera has been released on parole. While we do not have any update on his status as a PGA Tour member, the TourTour may consider new and relevant information to determine if any change to his status is appropriate in the future.”

Epps persisted in advocating for Cabrera and underscored his effort to turn his life around after serving jail. He pointed out that the Argentine golfer was “humbled” by his experience in prison and utilized his time off to recuperate from his injury.

Before going to jail, Cabrera endured surgery to fix injuries to his wrist and elbow, which led to a decline in performance as a member of the senior Tour. Epps shared that Cabrera fully recovered from the injuries and will look to test himself against the top competition on the senior circuit.

“The way Angel plays on hard courses, I think he can still win the U.S. Senior Open,” Epps said. “I want him to be the comeback player of the year.”