Ángel Cabrera ‘welcome’ at Masters despite domestic abuse prison term

Argentinian currently prevented from entering US but 54-year-old hoping for return to Augusta

Fred Ridley, the chairman of Augusta National, has controversially insisted Ángel Cabrera is “welcome” at the Masters despite the 2009 champion recently completing a 30-month prison sentence for domestic abuse against two of his former girlfriends.

Cabrera is eligible to attend the champions dinner and play in the tournament as a former holder of the Green Jacket but his conviction had triggered speculation about whether he would be banned from attending the Major by the club itself.

The lack of an in-date visa currently prohibits Argentinian Cabrera from entering the United States. However, the 54-year-old is working to resolve that with a view to appearing in Georgia in April.

“It is my dream to return that prestigious place,” Cabrera said in an interview with Golf Digest. “I played at Augusta for almost 20 years in a row. It is like a second home to me. It would be a great privilege to return and attend the champions dinner with so many of the world’s greatest players.”


Ridley is not of a mind to deny Cabrera his opportunity. “Ángel certainly is one of our great champions,” said the chairman. “As we all know, he has been unable to participate in the Masters the last couple of years due to legal issues.

“Presently we have been in constant contact with Ángel’s representatives. He presently is not able to enter the United States. He doesn’t have a visa and I know that that process is being worked through. We certainly wish him the best of luck with that, and we’ll definitely welcome him back if he’s able to straighten out those legal issues.”

Ridley’s approach will take many by surprise. Cabrera was arrested in Brazil in 2021, where he spent five months in prison before being transferred to his home country. In the same magazine interview, Cabrera admitted his guilt and recalled “throwing a cell phone at my partner’s head.” Cabrera added: “I am repentant and embarrassed. I made serious mistakes.”

Cabrera, who also won the 2007 US Open, triumphed over Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell in an Augusta playoff two years later. He has spoken of plays to kick-start his golf career on the Champions Tour.

“Golf is everything to me,” Cabrera said. “It is my life. I have to continue.” He was second in the Masters of 2013, this time losing to Adam Scott in extra holes, and last played in the Major five years ago. – Guardian