One month ago, Angel Cabrera was bumped from the Players by dropping to 51st on the World Ranking, and because he wasn't in the field, the Argentine wasn't allowed to practice at TPC Sawgrass. Instead, he worked on his putting across the street with swing coach Charlie Epps.
Still ineligible for the U.S. Open two weeks later, Cabrera faded on the back-nine Sunday at the European Tour's BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth with a double bogey on the 15th hole, but that T-5 finish in Europe's premier event jumped him to 39th and into the field at Oakmont.
Last week the U.S. Open champion celebrated at home in Cordoba, where, after a motorcade and plenty of partying, the Argentine and his manager, Manuel Tagle, charted a course for the remainder of 2007. Tagle told Golf World Cabrera will remain loyal to the European Tour (although he withdrew from this week's French Open), but also will play several events in the U.S., starting with the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and running through the FedEx Cup playoffs. After the season, he will play in the Presidents Cup (he was outside the top 10 before winning the Open, but now he's seventh) and has invitations from the HSBC Champions in China and the PGA Grand Slam.
All in all it was a windfall for Cabrera, who was literally on the outside looking in just six weeks ago.
Tim Rosaforte is a senior writer for Golf World magazine.