Rafael Cabrera-Bello is a Spanish professional golfer who plays on the European Tour, where he has won three times, and the PGA Tour.
Cabrera-Bello turned professional at the age of 20 in 2005, having narrowly missed out obtaining a European Tour card at final qualifying school. His performance did ensure a place for the second-tier Challenge Tour.
In a successful first season, Cabrera-Bello recorded his maiden professional victory, at the MAN NÖ Open in Austria. He finished the season 13th on the Challenge Tour rankings, earning him a place on the following year’s European Tour.
He struggled during his rookie season in 2007, failing to finish better than tied for 18th in any tournament as he finished outside the top 200 on the Order of Merit. He failed to regain his playing status at the end of season qualifying school and returned to the Challenge Tour for 2008. His second professional victory came in the 2008 Credit Suisse Challenge, and he ended the year by once again earning graduation to the main tour, finishing 14th in the rankings.
Cabrera-Bello’s second season of European Tour golf proved far more successful. In his first eleven events, he missed only one cut, finishing in the top-10 on four occasions and the top-20 a further five times. After such a promising start to the season he suffered a slump in form, making only 2 of his next 10 cuts. However, he bounced back in dramatic style at the Austrian Golf Open in September. Lying nine shots off the lead after the first two rounds, he recorded a third-round 66 to move up the leaderboard, before firing a record-equalling 11-under-par final round of 60 to claim victory by one shot ahead of Benn Barham, who had led for the entire tournament. His performance equalled the record for any round on the European Tour, and was only the third time a player had carded a final round 60 to win a tour event.
His 2010 and 2011 seasons on the European Tour did not result in any victories, but a second place in the 2011 Portugal Masters and three more top-10 placements in the same year helped him to reach the 30th place in the final Order of Merit.
In 2012, he claimed the biggest win of his career at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic against a field containing three of the world’s top four. The win also earned him the 60th place in the Official World Golf Ranking, his first time in the top 100.
Despite some notable results, like the second places at the 2014 BMW International Open and the 2015 Lyoness Open, Cabrera-Bello position in the World Rankings did not improve between 2013 and 2015. He eventually found an excellent period of form between January and February 2016, when he registered consecutive second places at the 2016 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters and 2016 Omega Dubai Desert Classic. A month later, he went on to finish third at the 2016 WGC-Dell Match Play, rising to 36th in the Official World Golf Ranking and as a result, qualifying for the first time for the 2016 Masters Tournament. He followed with a top-5 finish in the Shell Houston Open and earned Special Temporary Member status on the PGA Tour for the remainder of the 2015–16 season, which he managed to convert to full membership at the end of the year by earning more than the 125th player on the Official Money List.
In August 2016, Cabrera-Bello represented Spain in the 2016 Summer Olympics, finishing tied for 5th place. His performances in 2015 and 2016 also earned him an automatic selection for the 2016 Ryder Cup.
Cabrera-Bello recorded an albatross in the fourth round of the 2017 Players Championship. In July 2017, Cabrero-Bello had his first European Tour win since 2012, winning the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open after defeating Callum Shinkwin in a play-off on the 18th hole at Dundonald Links, Irvine, after both players had finished on 13 under par. Source