With his spectacular victory at the ACCIONA Open de España presented by Madrid, Rafa Cabrera has achieved something that is particularly special to him because he arrived here at his worst ranking in recent years:
“I wasn’t concerned about it, in fact it was worse eight months ago when I realised I wasn’t hitting the ball well, but after Memorial at the end of May I noticed an improvement, I was hitting the ball well and I knew that the results would come in the end. Those results took their time, but now I’m very happy about what has happened today. Also, my morale wasn’t low, I was just a little surprised that I hadn’t been able to have rounds like today’s. But I was playing well and now I’ve proved it”.
There were not many signs that the Canary Islander would win here; in the six times he had led after three rounds he had always failed to win, also he started his final round with a double bogey. However, he kept his head high and pulled through in the end:
“Really, what happens on the 1st is simply the start, I made a big mistake there because I was nervous. Fortunately though, I began in a strong position so even with a double bogey I was able to lift the cup. I was mentally prepared for a battle today. While yesterday I had a day on which I couldn’t have played better golf, today things didn’t turn out quite as well, I started badly and missed a few shots, but I continued fighting until the end and made a great par on the 72nd hole when things were looking bleak”.
It was on that same hole that the Canary Islander was asked to explain what happened in detail:
“I was allowed to take a drop because I was standing on the path and I was lucky to be able to move it from some grass that was 10 centimetres high, but I still had a very difficult shot, even more so with Arnaus in the bunker by the green [in one]. I thought I had to risk it, I had no choice, and that I could not make worse than par, and if Adri made a birdie, then congratulations to him. There was only a small gap to get the ball through in the middle of the tree. I went all in and it made it through so I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw it had reached the bunker. Then the recovery shot was very good, I was lucky that Adri didn’t make birdie, so everything turned out perfect”.
His history at the Open de España goes back beyond his second place in 2019; he finished in the top 5 at the event as an amateur:
“Since I was a boy, and even more so since that tournament, I’ve been dreaming of putting my name on this cup. Also, I’m sure over those 17 years I subconsciously thought I would win it much earlier and a few more times, but although it has been a long time, at least I have done it here. I’m sure David Puig [best amateur this year], if his spectacular progress continues, will put his name on here one day too”.
He did not want to put the microphone down without mentioning the course and the fans, a combination that seems to match his game to a tee.
“It’s a course that suits my game perfectly, you have to be very straight and it’s not overly long, so I’m competitive on the par 5s and get eagle chances, that’s why I feel so comfortable here. As for the fans, all I can do is thank them for their support over the four days. As I said yesterday, they give me the boost I need to win and it’s a pleasure to play in front of them.”