Sergio Garcia wins the Masters, ends drought at the majors

Tricia Pearson
April 11, 2017

Rose missed his par putt which would allow Garcia to win the Masters with 2 putts.

Rose had two glorious opportunities to extend his lead to three-shots by the fifteenth hole, and Garcia was quick to pay tribute to the 36-year-old.

Sergio Garcia has won the Masters, finally snapping the second-longest active winless streak in major championships when he beat England's Justin Rose in a sudden-death playoff. "Sometimes I did think, 'Am I ever going to win one?' I had so many good chances and I either lost them or someone did something extraordinary to beat me". I'm 37, not 22, but I still feel like I have a lot of great years in me.

"But lately, you know, I've been getting some good help and I've been thinking a little bit, a little bit different, a little bit more positive".

The golfing fraternity were quick to pay tribute to Garcia, previously dubbed as the best player never to win a major. "If I make a couple of putts, it'scompletely different".

"I was really interested and surprised that nobody was able to make a run during the front nine", Rose said.

Speaking as he received the winner's green jacket at Augusta, he said: "It's been a long time coming".

"I don't feel very different", he said.

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As soon as it was over, Rose walked out to embrace Garcia in the middle of the green.

Garcia got rid of the demons and the doubts with two big moments on the par 5s — one a par, the other an eagle — in closing with a 3-under 69. "I'd love to be wearing the Green Jacket but if it wasn't me then I'm glad it is him". At 17 with a chance to take the lead Sergio would miss a birdie putt. I thought I had it on 18.

Garcia (-9) went head-to-head with Englishman Justin Rose (-9) at the last hole in regulation, forcing a playoff.

As they entered the back nine Garcia started to crack with back-to-back bogeys, and fans covering their eyes as they feared he would let another major slip through his fingers. "And I hit one of the best putts I hit all week". South African Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters victor, was third on 282 with American Matt Kuchar and Belgian Thomas Pieters sharing fourth on 283.

Even PGA Tour players, who normally avoid spending their free time watching golf on TV, aren't immune to the charms of Augusta National.

Rose was two shots ahead when Garcia bogeyed the 10th and 11th, but on what would have been the 60th birthday of Seve Ballesteros, his fellow Spaniard Garcia crucially saved par after an errant drive and penalty shot on the 13th.

The last time a Masters champ had a back-nine eagle on Sunday was Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal in 1994.

But the momentum shifted back in Garcia's favour at the par-5 13th when he made a miraculous par after being forced to take a drop when he hit another poor tee shot.

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