Angel Cabrera, Masters Champion

Angel Cabrera, Masters Champion

Like a lot of Americans, especially those of us older than 48, I would have liked to have seen Kenny Perry win the Masters. And sure, it would have been fun to have had either Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson make a real run…

But that said, I think Angel Cabrera won the Masters by showing the power of his inner game; and in his case, this was simply illustrated by the way he just played his own game and stayed within himself, especially under the extreme pressure of the Masters and the tournament’s final holes.

The others, including Kenny Perry, clearly melted down in the stretch. I don’t think that the way they lost the Masters can be attributed to anything other than a lack of inner game strength. What else could have caused Kenny Perry to bogie the last two holes after playing so magnificently? And likewise, what else but the pressure could have caused Chad Campbell to hit what was probably his worst shot of the day and make a bogie on the first playoff hole? They all had the talent and they all had performed at the highest level up until the apex of what must be the most extraordinary pressure to perform that can be found anywhere.

And believe me, I’m not putting any of them down. I get nervous on the first tee when my matches mean nothing, and their performance in the tournament that means the most defines their careers. Just the same, I think it’s worth noting that the real difference, bottom line, net net, was how they performed when those big-assed, major Masters “chips” were down. Obviously, especially given the unique qualities of each of their swings, it was not about their swing mechanics! The winner was the one who was most comfortable in his own skin regardless of the power of the spotlight.

Congratulations to you, Angel. You’ve got what it takes.