Angel Cabrera ‘welcome’ at Masters after serving prison sentence

Angel Cabrera was arrested in January 2021 and subsequently convicted of two charges of assault  (Getty Images)
Angel Cabrera was arrested in January 2021 and subsequently convicted of two charges of assault (Getty Images)

Angel Cabrera would be “welcome” at the Masters, the chairman of Augusta National has said, after serving a 30-month prison sentence for domestic abuse.

Cabrera, who won the Masters in 2009, was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison in July 2021, before being convicted of a second assault in November 2022.

The Argentine golfer was released from prison last August and cleared to play in PGA Tour-sanctioned events in December.

The 54-year-old does not currently have an in-date visa to enter the United States, but has said that he is hoping to receive one, and is eligible to attend the champions’ dinner and play in the tournament as a former winner of the green jacket.

And Fred Ridley, chairman of the Georgia course since 2017, has suggested that Cabrera would be welcome at golf’s most prestigious event.

“Angel certainly is one of our great champions,” said Ridley at an amateur event in Panama. “As we all know, he has been unable to participate in the Masters the last couple of years due to legal issues.

Angel Cabrera won the 2009 Masters (Getty Images)
Angel Cabrera won the 2009 Masters (Getty Images)

“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.”

It is customary for all past champions to be invited to play in the annual major, with most accepting and competing.

Cabrera last played in 2019. He was arrested in Rio de Janeiro in early 2021 having left Argentina without authorisation while awaiting trial on a number of criminal charges.

The golfer expressed remorse for making “serious mistakes” in an interview with Golf Digest magazine last year, admitting that he had behaved wrongly towards former partners Cecilia Torres Mana and Micaela Escudero.

Cabrera could feature at a PGA Tour Champions in Morocco in February as he continues his comeback to the course.

“While competing in the Masters again is a dream, securing a visa is Angel’s priority at the moment so he can resume his professional career,” Manuel Tagle, Cabrera’s manager, said to Golfweek. “We are working on getting an appointment with the US Embassy in Argentina. Probably early March as his visa has expired January 2024.”