Justin Rose Positive On Augusta Hopes After Sergio Garcia Play-Off


Garcia, who now has a new jacket in which to marry fiancee Angela Akins later this year, found that in the achievement of a goal he chased for almost 20 years, he didn't feel any life-changing impact.

Justin Rose, of England, reacts after missing a birdie putt on the 18th hole during the final round of the Masters golf tournament, Sunday, April 9, 2017, in Augusta, Ga.

Not two hours earlier, it looked like the Masters was his for the taking. That's when things started to go off the rails: Nervy bogeys on 10 and 11, followed by a miracle par save on 13.

"But it's happened", he said. He has been tortured by the golf gods more times than we can count - many times of his own doing - but to see him persevere and continue to fight and work for that first major is special.

Maybe George Benson ("never give up on a good thing") had a point about Sergio.

"It has been an unbelievable week and I'm going to enjoy it for the rest of my life", said Garcia. I knew I was play well, very clam, calmer than I've felt in any major on a Sunday. "But I can live with that".

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Garcia, who rose to No 7 in the world rankings after becoming the sixth successive first-time Major victor, was overjoyed to emulate fellow Spaniards Jose Maria Olazabal and Seve Ballesteros in winning at Augusta.

He became the third Spaniard to win the National Augusta, triumphant in what would have been the 60th birthday of the late Seve Ballesteros.

Rose lovingly patted Garcia's cheek before they embraced. It would have been a travesty for such a gifted player to leave the game without a prize of this stature, however great he has been in Ryder Cups. It was a wonderful battle and if there is anyone you want to lose to it's Sergio. "If anyone deserves it, it's Sergio". He has had his fair share of heartbreak.

He led after each of the first three rounds at Carnoustie and only needed to par the 18th hole on Sunday to win.

But Garcia saved par, Rose failed to make birdie and Garcia still had life.

"Without that, I think it would have been very hard to come back, even with the birdie at 14 and eagle at 15".

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Garcia said he was helped by adopting a more accepting attitude about the unfortunate breaks Augusta National can inflict, pondering it even as he celebrated after his winning playoff birdie putt on the 18th green.

Garcia chased his old demons on two important 5-normals - one for a normal, the other for an eagle - and he handed a 69 (minus-3) card. And then when I missed my putt, I feared for the worst.

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

He hit a wedge to 7 feet and escaped with par.

WINNER Sergio Garcia captured the first major championship of his career with a birdie putt on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff with Justin Rose.

Rose was looking for his second major after his US Open victory in 2013.

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"What a moment", Garcia said during a second green-jacket ceremony, away from the network cameras and in front of members and fans behind the clubhouse.