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Masters welcomes Angel Cabrera back as long as the Argentine can get a visa to travel to Augusta

PANAMA CITY (AP) — Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley said former Masters champion Angel Cabrera, on parole in Argentina for gender violence against his partners, is welcome to compete in April provided he can get a visa to travel.

Cabrera, a two-time major champion, won the 2009 Masters in a playoff over Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell. Masters champions have a lifetime exemption into the major.

Cabrera was imprisoned for two years for threats and harassment of his partner, a case that was joined by another former partner. He was released on parole in August and has been playing in Argentina.

“Angel certainly is one of our great champions,” Ridley said Thursday at the Latin America Amateur Championship. “As we all know, he has been unable to participate in the Masters the last couple of years due to legal issues.”

Ridley said officials have been in touch with Cabrera's manager and that Cabrera currently cannot enter the United States.

The PGA Tour notified Cabrera his suspension has been lifted, though he would be required to comply with terms of his prison release. The 54-year-old Argentine would be eligible for PGA Tour Champions events, as long as he could get to them.

“He presently is not able to enter the United States. He doesn’t have a visa, and I know that that process is being worked through,” Ridley said. “We certainly wish him the best of luck with that, and we’ll definitely welcome him back if he’s able to straighten out those legal issues.”

In a lengthy interview with Golf Digest published in the December-January edition, Cabrera said he was embarrassed by his behavior and asked his former partners for forgiveness.

“They had the bad luck of being with me when I was at my worst. I wasn’t the devil, but I did bad things,” Cabrera said. "I am deeply embarrassed because I disappointed the people closest to me — and everyone who loves me through golf.

"Golf gave me everything, and I know I will never be able to repay the debt I owe this sport.”

Cabrera won his first major in the 2007 U.S. Open at Oakmont by one shot over Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk. He also lost in a playoff at the Masters to Adam Scott in 2013.

He hasn't played in the Masters since missing the cut in 2019.

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AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf