During their last session before the 2007 U.S. Open, they worked on setup. When Cabrera is off, he crouches too much, gets too open and blocks the ball to the right. Stand up, the instructor told his friend, en espanol.
Get the right side through. "He hit a lot of three-quarter shots, trying to get synchronized," says Bartolome. "His swing seldom looks bad. He just has to have tempo."
Cabrera played great at Oakmont. When he hit a 169-yard nine-iron to mere inches at 15 on Sunday, he seemed to be in control. Then he bogeyed the next two holes, and it looked as if Furyk or Tiger Woods would catch him.
The 18th fairway is not the tightest at Oakmont, but the penalty for a short or crooked drive is severe. With perfect posture and rhythm (but with his head moving), Cabrera hit one of the greatest pressure drives in memory, a 346-yard bullet with a slight fade into the dead center of the fairway that set up a par.
A few minutes later Tiger couldn't keep it in the short grass. Cabrera won by one.
"[Cabrera's] really good, the way he thinks under pressure," Bartolome says, taking no credit for himself. "He is one guy who goes for it."
That is another thing Bartolome knows not to change.