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Angel Cabrera is balancing his current position and Hoylake's history. (Photo: Getty Images)
Angel Cabrera is balancing his current position and Hoylake's history. (Photo: Getty Images)

Cabrera and Romero bid to emulate De Vicenzo's victory

The only Argentine golfer to win a major was Roberto De Vicenzo right here at Royal Liverpool back in 1967. On Sunday, two of his biggest fans and protégés, Angel Cabrera and Andres Romero, have a chance to follow in his footsteps.

HOYLAKE, England (AP) -- The only golfer from Argentina to win a major, Roberto De Vicenzo is also the last player to win the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, 39 years ago.

Now a couple of Argentines are contending at the same Hoylake links. At 11-under, Angel Cabrera is two behind leader Tiger Woods going into Sunday's final round, and Andres Romero is in a tie for 10th at 8-under.

De Vicenzo's 1967 triumph here stands out not only because he came from a country not famous for its golfers, but also because he posted a two-stroke victory over defending champion Jack Nicklaus.

Now Cabrera and Romero are chasing another defending champion.

The two Argentine players are on a leader board crowded with stars who are regular contenders in golf's most prestigious championships.

Woods, owner of 10 majors, is at 13-under. A stroke behind come Sergio Garcia and Chris DiMarco, both runners-up to Woods at majors, and Ernie Els, who has two U.S. Opens and one British Open on his record.

Cabrera is tied with another major winner, 2003 U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk. Two behind him comes 1989 Open champion Mark Calcavecchia, while Romero has two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen for company as one of six players tied for 10th.

That's why this moment is so special for Cabrera and Romero.

The burly Cabrera welcomes the history of De Vicenzo's triumph, but is more concerned with the present.

"It is very special because, of course, the last time it was played here it was won by an Argentine," he said through an interpreter. "At this moment, I'm really not thinking about the history, I'm thinking about Cabrera."

And what does he think about Cabrera?

"That I can win the tournament."

Cabrera's best finish at an Open was a tie for fourth at a tough Carnoustie course in 1999. He has missed the cut four of his last five visits to the tricky links courses in England and Scotland.

"It's a British Open golf course, special in the sense that it is difficult, complicated and can come up and bite you if you don't play well," he said of the Royal Liverpool links.

Cabrera said he has met the 83-year-old De Vicenzo, but that was a while ago. Romero met the 1967 champion only a year ago.

"I know he won a long time before I was born," said the 25-year-old Romero, who captured one of the last spots in the Open by finishing in a tie for second at last week's Scottish Open at Loch Lomond.

"Last year he spoke to me. I was playing in a tournament at San Eliseo and he told me about winning over here and that he hoped I would carry on in his footsteps."

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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