Masters: Cabrera, Stricker, Westwood Seeking Entrance to Hall of Fame

Fred AltvaterContributor IIApril 14, 2013

Steve Stricker and Lee Westwood are five shots back at the Masters.
Steve Stricker and Lee Westwood are five shots back at the Masters.David Cannon/Getty Images

Three players at or near the top of the leaderboard at the Masters are seeking the credentials that will gain them induction to the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Angel Cabrera is 43 years old and has two major championship wins on his resume. A third major title would guarantee his induction. He has five European Tour wins, one win on the Asian Tour and 42 lesser professional wins to go along with his two major titles.

Cabrera is a natural swinger of the golf club and creates prodigious length off the tee. He also possesses the hands of a surgeon for short chips and finesse shots around the green.

His two major titles may just be enough to gain entry in the Hall of Fame, but a win today would guarantee it.

Steve Stricker is at two under par, just five shots behind the leaders. At 46 years of age, Stricker is now nearing the end of his illustrious golfing career.

He has seen the absolute lows that any professional golfer can experience. He won three PGA Tour events prior to 2001, culminating with a win at the WGC-Accenture Match Play in February 2001.

Thereafter, he fell into an inexplicable slump. Stricker has always been an excellent iron player with a deft putting touch on the green, but he completely lost the ability to keep his ball on the golf course with the driver.

He went home to Madison, Wisconsin and hit balls from a shed into the snow until he found a swing that would allow him to regain his championship form and was able to resume winning again at the 2007 Barclays.

He was named the PGA Tour’s Comeback Player of the Year on two consecutive occasions in 2006 and 2007. He has 12 victories on tour and was honored with the 2012 Payne Stewart Award.

Stricker has been on numerous Ryder and Presidents Cup Teams. He is normally paired with Tiger Woods in team events.

The only thing lacking in his career is a major title. Today would be a perfect time to punch his ticket to a Hall of Fame ceremony in St. Augustine.

Lee Westwood has 22 career European Tour wins. He was that tour’s Order of Merit winner in 2000 and 2009. He was named European Tour Player of the year in 1998, 2000 and again in 2009. He has two wins on the PGA Tour but does not have that all-important major victory.

He is truly an international player and takes pride in the fact that he has won golf tournaments in Japan, Asia, South Africa and Australia.

Westwood turned professional in 1993 and, like Stricker, has experienced the lowest of lows in golf. He had even considered quitting the game at one time.

Westwood is at two under par, five shots behind the leaders. He has a shot to post a low round and apply pressure to the leaders behind him. A low round plus the leaders struggling could put him in a green jacket.

He has returned from the darkest depths and has won everywhere around the world. A win today at the Masters would validate an extraordinary golfing career and guarantee a spot in the Hall of Fame.