Garcia dedicates magical Masters win to childhood idol


The first of Garcia's many almost-wins, the 1999 PGA Championship, announced the exciting, young El Niño as a potential challenger to Tiger Woods, who had taken the golf world by storm since his record-breaking 1997 Masters victory.

After missing a 5-foot birdie at the 72nd hole, Garcia had to get through one extra hole to finally remove the stigma of being considered the best player never to win one of golf's biggest events.

Rose put together rock-solid rounds of 71, 72, 67 and 69 to finish level with Garcia on nine under par and the Englishman was delighted for his opponent to land his first major title at the 74th attempt.

Rose began the day tied with Garcia, but he trailed the Spaniard by three shots after five holes.

Garcia himself had said, in a moment of self-pity, that he didn't have what it takes to win a major.

After Rose could only make bogey, Garcia hit a sublime approach before sinking his first putt to claim the title and the coveted green jacket. He buried his putt and after having birdied 14 he'd evened the match but immediately gave a stroke back on 16 when Rose birdied and he missed his putt. Somewhere Seve Ballesteros is celebrating his 60th birthday on the very day that Garcia won his first major after 73 majors had passed over him. "I've had so many good chances and either I lost them or someone has done something extraordinary to beat me".

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Garcia brought some drama to the back nine by sinking an eagle on No. 15 to pull even with Rose, who birdied the hole.

His long-time caddie, Glenn Murray, said Garcia has calmed over the years.

"I felt I was in complete control but it wasn't enough", Rose later lamented.

"I knew I needed to make that putt to stay in it", Garcia said of his par-save at 13.

The pair started the playoff on the 18th hole.

He carried that attitude all the way to the 18th and when he missed a 5-footer that would've given him a win in regulation, he simply redoubled his effort. I'm not going to lie; it's not the golf course that I'm most comfortable in, because I've become more of a fader than a drawer of the ball, and this golf course is asking you to hit a lot of draws. At 15, Rose made birdie but Garcia made eagle to tie for the lead. The 37-year-old Spaniard trailed Rose by two shots with six holes remaining before ending his two decades of close calls and major meltdowns in major tournaments.

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You could see how much it meant to him by his reaction, as Garcia pumped his fists and screamed aloud on the 18th green in the playoff.

Fowler hit a four-over 76 to finish the tournament one-under while Spieth also finished one-under after finishing three-over today.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - As soon as the putt slipped past the cup on the first playoff hole, Justin Rose knew it was over. Rose played first and pummeled his drive into the trees to the right of the fairway.

Most different about Garcia is that he made it easy to root against him, blaming everything but his own shots and missed putts.

"You're going to win majors, and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them", Rose said.

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