Cabrera's tenacity makes the difference
Augusta National, Easter Sunday evening - Kenny Perry fought back the tears after seeing Angel Cabrera deny him the chance to become the oldest ever major champion at the Masters.
The 48-year-old Perry looked to have one arm in a Green Jacket with two holes to play but the Argentine proved once again that in sport you have to keep trying until you shake hands.
It's an apt motto, given that the man who coined it, Gary Player, retired from major championship golf at Augusta this week.
Cabrera and Perry were tied for the lead going into the final round but the story seemed to be unfolding elsewhere as Phil Mickelson launched a charge not seen on a Masters Sunday for some time.
The roars rebounding around the Augusta pines signalled something special was on the cards as Mickelson, winner of two out of the last five Masters, edged his way up the leaderboard.
By the 8th he had made up six shots and was just one adrift, and the Masters mojo was back after officials responded to criticism that recent course changes had made it too much of a grind by setting it up for low scoring.
Mickelson's playing partner Tiger Woods was also beginning to awaken - despite needing what he described as a "Band Aid" for his misfiring swing - and the pair whipped up huge, excitable crowds in their wake. The atmosphere crackled with electricity, with slightly more patrons pulling for Mickelson, at least the vocal ones.
But it seemed like the plug had been pulled on the party when the world number two dumped his tee shot into water on the 12th and made a double bogey. Several dozen variations on the theme of "doggarn it" came from the partisan patrons in the tightly packed galleries around Amen Corner.
Mickelson fought back, though, and Woods, feeling his way in his first major after knee surgery, continued to improve. The game was on, and the pair were tied at 10 under, two off the lead, with two left. If either of them could pull this off it would equal the second biggest comeback margin in Masters history.
But ultimately golf's big guns ran out of ammunition as Woods bogeyed 17 and 18 and Mickelson also dropped a shot on the last.
All eyes turned back to the leaders, and Perry launched a broadside of his own. Three birdies in five holes from the 12th took him to 14 under, two ahead of Cabrera and Campbell with two to play.
Cabrera had seen Mickelson pass him earlier on, and at one point Perry stretched the lead over him to three, but the man they call 'El Pato' (The Duck) kept plugging away, kept doing his thing.
"I told my caddie it was only a birdie to a bogey," said the 39-year-old. "I said, 'There's two holes left, I can still win'."
Perry duly obliged with a bogey on the 17th, but the man from Kentucky still looked like the eventual winner and despite finding sand on the final hole, the world number 11 reached match point - a "this for the Masters" putt that every kid dreams of.
But with history beckoning, he missed. Campbell was already in at 12 under and Cabrera, still fighting, knocked in an eight-footer on the 18th to join a play-off.
Back on the 18th tee at the start of the play-off, Cabrera appeared to have blown his chances after finding the trees on the right. Firing out, his ball hit another tree and he looked around frantically, no idea where it had gone. The instant reaction was to write him off for a second time, especially as Perry and Campbell were in the middle of the fairway for one.
Cabrera, however, was like a persistent little kid trying to play with his older brothers and wouldn't go away. When Campbell dumped his approach into the right bunker and Perry came up short right, the door opened for Cabrera again.
He hit his approach to six feet and conjured a stunning par alongside Perry. Campbell could only manage five and crashed out.
Going down the 10th on the second sudden-death hole, Perry's approach ploughed into the fringe to the left of the green. Sensing time is running out on his career, he was so desperate to finally win a major but the reality of the dream unravelling seemed to crush him. Cabrera, from being down and out, was now in the box seat and he fired into the heart of the green.
When Perry took five, it was Cabrera who had the luxury of two putts for the Masters. Very meticulously, he used both of them.
"I had the tournament to win. I lost the tournament," said Perry. "But Angel hung in there. I was proud of him. He was hitting shots everywhere, and he'd get them up and down, or hit a great shot and make a putt."
It was a triumph for a man who will never accept when he is beaten. That man is usually Woods, but Cabrera showed the world number one doesn't have the monopoly on grit.