Given that the Masters was played over Easter weekend, perhaps it was only fitting that Argentine Angel Cabrera, 39, nicknamed El Pato (The Duck, cuz he kind of has the walk and belly of one) won the tournament for his first green jacket. Oh, I was aching plenty for Kenny Perry who probably lost his last, best chance to win a major at age 48. But then I remembered Cabrera's back story--the kid who grew up so dirt poor he had to drop out of elementary school to earn money to support his parents. And how could you not love him when after his US Open victory in 2007 he said, "Other players have sports psychologists; I smoke."
Nor was Angel shy about voicing his opinion last year on the LPGA's ridiculous (thankfully, short-lived) policy that would have required the women golfers to learn and speak English or be barred from playing on the tour. Angel, who understands some English and speaks little, was offended. (He gave his victory interview in Spanish with the help of an interpreter.) A player should be judged by her ability to swing the clubs without the threat of an English exam hanging over her head.
I will look forward to seeing Angel year after year after year at the Masters. No, he won't be chain-smoking his way down the 18th fairway the way he did at the US Open, but I'm sure you'll hear El Pato's quack loud and clear in future Augusta appearances.