Struggling major winners hope to get back on track at Puerto Rico Open

angel cabrera
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Angel Cabrera, who won the Masters two years ago, has family reasons for playing in Puerto Rico this week.
PA Sport


Published: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 | 12:25 p.m.

It is a case of how the mighty have fallen at the PGA Tour's Puerto Rico Open this week.

Only two years ago, Stewart Cink was British Open champion, Angel Cabrera the Masters champion and Henrik Stenson the winner of the Players Championship. Now their world positions are such that they have failed to qualify for the WGC-Cadillac Championship in Miami and are seeking alternative employment.


The Tom Kite-designed course at the Trump International Golf Club is hosting its fourth edition of the Puerto Rico Open.

Stenson was as high as fourth in the rankings following his triumph at Sawgrass, but has now dropped to 70th and is without a top-10 finish since tying for third in the British Open at St. Andrews last July.

"I've been struggling golf-wise for the last 12 months or so and also last year I had some health issues," said the Swede. "That obviously doesn't help if you're playing sick and playing poorly, but I hope it's only one way from here on -- and that's up."

Cink's last victory remains his playoff triumph over Tom Watson at Turnberry, although he was the only unbeaten player -- on either side -- in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor last October with one win and three halved matches. He stands 59th in the world, while Cabrera is all the way down at 83rd and has not had a top-10 finish in the last 10 months.

At least all three are sure of their spots in the Masters next month, Cabrera for life as a former winner.

Rio Grande might not be the place the 41-year-old Argentinian really wants to be, but it has given him the opportunity to be there as his son Federico makes his PGA Tour debut after receiving a special invitation to play. The 21-year-old has made a number of appearances on the European circuit and entered Q-School at the end of last year, but failed to make it through the first of the three stages.

England's Oliver Wilson, another striving to get back into the big time after playing in the 2008 Ryder Cup, is also in the field. He has had no fewer than nine runners-up finishes in Europe without once tasting victory, but has just fallen outside the world's top 100.