AUGUSTA, Ga. — The chip on No. 18 could have done it.
The just-missed putt on No. 10 might have, too.
“Well, unfortunately in playoffs, it’s one-on-one, head-to-head,” Cabrera said. “And there’s got to be only one winner, and he was able to win.”
Both men birdied No. 18 to close their rounds, with Cabrera’s second shot finishing about 4 feet from the hole. Both then opened the sudden-death playoff by parring No. 18.
For a chunk of Sunday, Cabrera thrived under tough circumstances. He was tied for the lead with Brandt Snedeker at 7-under entering Sunday’s final round and went to 9-under on the front nine before bogeys on Nos. 10 and 13 put him at even par for the day.
The bogey on the par-5 13th was especially costly. Playing aggressively, Cabrera went for the green in two after pushing his tee shot into pine straw on the right.
He instead found water.
“I had a very good angle, and I had a very good lie,” he said. “And I was thinking about making a birdie. I told my son that, you know, we could do an eagle, also.”
Cabrera, 43, was attempting to become only the second player to win two Masters playoffs. In his 2009 win, he beat Kenny Perry on the second playoff hole after Chad Campbell was knocked out on the first. Three-time winner Nick Faldo won in playoffs in 1989 and 1990.
Cabrera, with 17 of his past 20 rounds at Augusta National Golf Club under par, almost joined Faldo. In the playoff, the Argentine’s chip on No. 18 skimmed the cup, and his putt at No. 10 just missed the edge of the hole.
“That’s golf,” Cabrera said about his near misses. “Golf gives and takes. So yeah, sometimes you make those putts, sometimes you just miss them. But that’s golf.”