OAKMONT, Pa. (AP) - Possessing greatness is a necessity to win at Oakmont, so went the talk all week at the U.S. Open. The kind of over-the-top talent Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones and Jack Nicklaus displayed in winning championships there, that Johnny Miller owned for a day while shooting his record 63 in 1973.
So, with Tiger Woods ready to win the 13th major championship that would edge him closer to Nicklaus' record 18 majors, how could Angel Cabrera emerge from a tense final round Sunday as champion?
All together now: Who?
Cabrera is 12th in European Tour career earnings, but his visibility in America probably couldn't have been much lower. Despite six previous top 10 finishes in majors, he is almost never mentioned among the top contenders in big tournaments.
Now that he's stared down world-ranked No. 1 Woods and No. 3 Jim Furyk to bring a U.S. Open title home to Argentina for the first time _ smoking like a steel mill, much like Arnold Palmer once did _ that will change.
"The good thing is that I beat everybody here, not only Tiger Woods," Cabrera said Sunday, moments after putting both arms around the championship trophy and tucking it close.
Cabrera, 36, doesn't come from a country club background, growing up so poor he didn't finish elementary school. He began golfing only because his caddie's job allowed him to venture onto home-course Cordoba Golf Club. Back home, he is nicknamed El Pato _ the duck _ for the way he walks down the fairway.
"I had to work as a caddie to put food on the table," said Cabrera, whose best previous victory came in the 2005 BMW Championship, one of Europe's top events. "That's why, probably, these moments are enjoyed even more."
He smokes to deal with stress.
"Well, there are some players that have psychologists, sportologists," he said. "I smoke."
Curiously, Oakmont Country Club, home to the rich, wealthy and famous, put away most of the field with its toughness, enabling the once dirt-poor Cabrera to take care of the rest as he finished at 5-over 285 for the tournament. Big and burly, Cabrera fit in well in Pittsburgh, where star athletes such as the now-retired Jerome Bettis aren't always perfect physical specimens.
Still, if one would have said his last name before the U.S. Open, many local fans would have confused him with Francisco Cabrera, the Braves bench player whose ninth-inning pinch hit beat the Pirates in Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS.
No doubt it was a coincidence, but Angel Cabrera was the only contender who came out Sunday wearing yellow and black, his bright shirt almost exactly the shade of Steelers gold. Furyk spent part of his youth in western Pennsylvania and some fans chanted his name, yet it was Cabrera who dressed the role as the hometown favorite.
"He (Cabrera) had some great golf shots, and that's what you have to do," Woods said. "He went out there and put all the pressure on Jim and I, and we fell one short."
Woods was the runner-up in a major for the second time this year; he also was at the Masters. Furyk tied for second in the U.S. Open for the second year in a row, the first to do that since Palmer in 1966-67.