Angel Cabrera granted a visa, set to return to U.S. with plan to play PGA Tour Champions

Argentina’s Angel Cabrera’s comeback is officially ready for takeoff as the two-time major winner secured a visa last week.

Charlie Epps, his longtime coach, confidante and friend, confirmed that Cabrera can now travel to the U.S. – and plans to move permanently to Houston – and resume competing on PGA Tour Champions.

Cabrera, 54, served 30 months in prison in Brazil and Argentina for domestic violence and other lesser charges. His visa expired in January and according to Epps, the American Embassy in Buenos Aires made him take a series of psychological tests.

“That was the delay,” Epps said. It prevented him from competing in April in the Masters, where he is eligible as the 2009 champion, but it should pave the way for his return next year.

“Angel certainly is one of our great champions,” Masters chairman Fred Ridley said at a press conference in January. “As we all know, he has been unable to participate in the Masters the last couple of years due to legal issues. Presently we have been in constant contact with Angel’s representatives. 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. 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.”

Cabrera has made a few starts here and there since his release from jail but can now begin a full comeback in earnest. Cabrera was reinstated on the PGA Champions Tour and the PGA Tour in December last year. He played in the Trophy Hassan II, a Champions Tour event in Morocco in February, and finished T-27. He missed the cut at the Argentine Open, a Korn Ferry Tour-sanctioned event, in March. Most recently in May, he played in Barbados in a Legends Tour event, formerly known as the European Seniors Tour, and finished T-11. His last competitive tournament in the U.S. was at the Pure Insurance Championship at Pebble Beach in September 2020.

More: After parole from jail, Angel Cabrera dreams of a comeback on PGA Tour Champions — but will he be given a chance?

As a past winner on the PGA Tour, Cabrera is a PGA Tour Champions member, but his entry into a field is dependent upon how the field is filled, according to a spokesperson for PGA Tour Champions. As a major championship winner, he is eligible for both restricted and unrestricted sponsor exemptions, and there is no limit to the number of sponsor exemptions he can receive. He also is exempt to compete in an event qualifier as a past champion on the PGA Tour. An email to his longtime manager Manuel Tagle asking for Cabrera’s future plans wasn’t returned.

Cabrera is entered into the next two senior events, American Family Insurance Championship and Dick’s Open. He’s currently on the alternate list for both. Anything past that would be too far to forecast for player commitments.

“When I talked to him down there, he had really grown up, he understood what life is all about and that he had really made an ass of himself,” Epps said in a phone interview. “He’s dedicated to golf and he wants to come back. He just needs to get comfortable again playing in competition. I want him to win the U.S. Senior Open.”

Like the Masters, that quest will have to wait until next year. The deadline for entry into the U.S. Senior Open was May 1 at 5 p.m. ET and Cabrera failed to file for entry.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek