Magical Cabrera takes early control at Quail Hollow

Thu May 1, 2014 4:50pm EDT
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By Andrew Both

CHARLOTTE North Carolina (Reuters) - Twice major champion Angel Cabrera conjured up some of his old magic to seize the clubhouse lead with a six-under-par 66 in the first round of the $6.9 million Wells Fargo Championship on Thursday.

The long-hitting veteran from Argentina reeled off four successive birdies around the turn to finish two strokes in front of Americans Stewart Cink and Jonathan Byrd with half the field back in the clubhouse at Quail Hollow.

German Martin Kaymer notched the rare feat of consecutive eagles to join a large group on 69 that also included Northern Ireland's former world number one Rory McIlroy.

Cabrera, 44, has made few headlines since losing a playoff to Adam Scott at last year's Masters but he is still capable of matching it with the game's best on any given day.

"I played very well on the greens and saved myself on the holes that I didn't play so well," Cabrera, whose only two PGA Tour victories came at the highest level with the 2007 U.S. Open and the 2009 Masters, told reporters.

He had two birdies and one bogey in the first five holes before kickstarting his move up the leaderboard with a five-foot birdie putt at the par-five seventh.

Cabrera then recorded four birdies in a row from the ninth hole, three of them from close range, along with a monster 42-foot putt from the fringe at the 11th.


Angel Cabrera of Argentina flips his putter after missing a birdie putt on the second playoff hole during the 2013 Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, April 14, 2013. REUTERS/Mark Blinch