Garcia finally proves his majors mettle with Masters triumph


In the first sudden-death playoff since Adam Scott beat Angel Cabrera on the second playoff hole in 2013, Garcia birdied the 18th hole with a 12-foot putt after Rose blew his tee shot into the right woods and ended up missing a par putt.

Sergio Garcia claimed a sensational maiden major title at the 74th attempt after edging out Justin Rose in a play-off on a memorable final day the the 81st Masters.

As Rose bogeyed the fifth hole, Garcia expanded his lead with a par. And being calm and not letting things get to me that I've done in the past. The latter capitalized this time around and is your 2017 Masters champion.

But Garcia didn't play up the fact that the monkey will no longer be on his back, because he said he made peace with his career's stature long ago. It would have been Ballesteros' 60th birthday.

Garcia celebrates a clutch putt early in his final round against Rose.

"It was a great battle with Sergio all day", Rose said. Sergio Garcia said that so often at majors like the Masters you were sure it would be etched into his tombstone someday.

"He deserves it as much as anyone out here". "Barring a great comeback by Sergio it was mine to cruise to the house".

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Only three players had more major starts without a victory than Garcia before he donned the green jacket symbolic of Masters supremacy.

Playing with Garcia in the final group, Rose had a 6-footer for birdie that would've given him a three-shot lead. "I didn't get too high with some really low nine-hole scores, but I didn't shoot any nine-hole scores that were in the 40s".

"You know, the par on 13 obviously was big". He got lots of Changed Man questions.

All that mattered was Garcia and Rose, who delivered a final hour as compelling as any at the Masters and a champion who began to wonder if he would ever win a major.

Garcia squatted and shook with excitement, rose and screamed with joy and hugged good pal Rose before walking around the green to revel in the moment, pumping his fist and punching the green in delight.

Garcia said Olazabal sent him a note of encouragement earlier in the week, noting that he didn't share his locker in the Champions Locker Room with anyone and that he'd like to share it with Garcia. We were cheering each other on. Yeah, it's a dream come true and it's something I've long thought about and to have it all come to fruition is an absolute dream come true. Both players missed putts within 8 feet at the final hole, before Garcia won on the first playoff hole with a birdie.

Garcia missed nearly inexcusable putts on 16 and 18 in regulation.

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When he spotted commentator Peter Kostis on the side of the green, he walked over to him, and placed Kostis's hand on his chest. Major championships once caused him so much frustration that he publicly declared he could not and would not win one.

"First of all, I hit a great putt".

But Rose charged back into the lead later on in the front nine. He took an unplayable lie penalty, then punched into the fairway.

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

"That little two-shot swing there was kind of when he was back in the tournament. It got me more confident". Under pressure, both Rose and Garcia flubbed their birdie putts, allowing for a playoff.

Garcia had come close a pain-staking number of times in majors, but something always went wrong. "So be it that I end up shooting one of my worst rounds".

Garcia is the third Spaniard to win the Masters after Ballesteros, who won in 1980 and 1983, and Jose Maria Olazabal, who triumphed in 1994 and 1999.

Garcia then paid the price for a poor second that finished on the pine straw to the right of the 10th, although he did well to limit the damage to a bogey only to go wayward again at 11 and drop another shot.

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