Garcia wins first major title in Masters playoff

Posted April 11, 2017

"It's amusing, I have seen it several times, when I came here in '99 as an amateur, I felt like this course was probably going to give me at least one major", he said. "He's had his fair share of heartbreak". Rose then tapped Garcia on the heart, which turned out to be a lot bigger than anyone realized.

"We are both trying to win but we are all people", added Garcia.

Garcia further emulated Olazabal by becoming the first champion since him to eagle a hole on the back nine, the new champion carding his at the par-five 15th, the same hole his hero achieved the feat on his way to his first win in 1994. He could have won in two putts but rolled it in for a birdie. "I felt the calmest I've ever felt on a Major Sunday and even after making a couple of bogeys I was still very positive, and hit some really good shots coming in and I'm so happy". The Spaniard had consecutive bogeys at 10 and 11, and his errant drive at the par-5 13th forced him to take a one-stroke penalty, putting Rose in position to build a commanding lead.

Garcia said he tried not to think too much about the fact that this win came on what would have been Seve Ballesteros' 60th birthday, but during the trophy ceremony, he did take a glance at the sky and wag his finger appreciatively toward the heavens.

But on the brink of disaster, Garcia battled back, salvaging a par at 13 and staying two back when Rose missed a three-foot birdie putt.

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On the 72nd regulation hole, Rose missed an eight-foot birdie putt, leaving Garcia a five-footer to win, but he pushed it wide right. There were two players out there in the final group, the other being the highly credentialled Englishman Justin Rose, but it was still all about Sergio. You know, what he said, he mentioned, you know, just you know what you have to do, just believe in yourself.

"That was a two-shot swing", Rose said.

And he finally made the breakthrough, by winning the first hole of a sudden-death play-off after he and Rose had both tied at nine under after 72 holes.

"It's been an incredible week, and I'm going to enjoy it for the rest of my life", said the new champion.

Spain's Sergio Garcia ended almost two decades of major disappointment when he beat England's Justin Rose in a playoff to win the US Masters on Sunday, donning the Green Jacket on what would have been the 60th birthday of his hero, the late Seve Ballesteros. Garcia sank a testy 8-footer to save par.

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Playing the 18th hole again, Rose got in trouble with an errant tee shot, forcing him to punch out from behind a giant magnolia tree. Rose's approach hit off the side of the bunker and kicked onto the green, stopping 7 feet away. "I'm not good enough", he told reporters at the Masters that year, after a poor third round knocked him out of contention.

"I'm really pleased with the way we finished this round to get back to red" under par numbers, Spieth said. Also an afterthought was Rickie Fowler, who started one shot behind and shot 76.

Prior to Sunday's victory he was on the longest run of majors without a win of any active player - the closest he had previously come was a tie for second at the Open (in 2007 and 2014) and the US PGA Championship in 1999 and 2008.

That why his comments all week at the Masters that he had changed his attitude, that he was learning to accept bad bounces, was met with skepticism. But it's always nice to be recognized or seen as the best player to not have won a major, because at least [you're recognized as a] 'best player.' There's a good thing there. But I'm not going to sit here and second-guess a few shots. It's not going to be a disaster.

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