Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Getty Images)
Round-the-world journeys to tournaments can be long enough as it is, but Rafa Cabrera-Bello was forced to take an even more circuitous route to the Maybank Malaysian Open after having his bag stolen on his way to the airport.
The Spaniard was forced to travel to London, on to Madrid and back to London again before he even boarded the 13-hour flight to Kuala Lumpur, and it was made all the more traumatic by the loss of numerous personal possessions, including his passport.
“I was on a train going from my home in Switzerland to the airport and I had my bag stolen, so all my personal stuff – passport, money, credit cards, computer, camera, ipad – was gone,” said Cabrera-Bello. “My biggest concern was my passport.
“I was able to fly to London that same morning as I had my Spanish I.D. with me, but in London they advised me to go to Spain as it was Sunday and the Spanish embassy was closed. Even if they issued me a new passport it would not be the new one with the chip, and I need that one, so I had to go to Madrid and managed to get a new one there.
“I flew back to London that same evening, stayed the night and flew here on Monday evening, arriving late on Tuesday. It was a bit of a hassle because it was not just a long flight; it was a whole day of travelling the day before – plus all the nerves of not knowing if I was going to make it.
“I’ve lost everything – my photos, music, contact numbers. The back-up from my phone was on the computer. It’s a tough one but I hope it’s the only bad news I have this week.”
Make it to Malaysia he did, and despite the nightmare of the previous few days, managed to open with rounds of 72 and 67 for a five under par total.
“This is one of my favourite courses of the year and I always look forward to this week,” he added. “I’ve had two top fives here and I have good memories.”