Spaniard Sergio Garcia Wins Masters in Thrilling Sudden-death Playoff

Rachel Hardy
April 12, 2017

Needing his best golf on just about every shot in the final hour at the Masters, Garcia overcame a two-shot deficit with six holes to play and beat Justin Rose in a sudden-death playoff Sunday for his first major after almost two decades of heartache.

Garcia, who famously said five years ago that he would never win a major, now owns a green jacket.

The omens worked in Garcia's favour right from the start on Seve Ballesteros's 60th birthday, who had won the Green Jacket twice in 1980 and 1983.

It was worth the wait.

Both players finished on nine under par at Augusta, setting up a sudden-death play-off on the 18th hole.

He grimaced a bit, no doubt remembering the little 6-footer that skidded by the cup on No. 13, when he had a chance to put Garcia away after the Spaniard drove one under an azalea bush.

Rose could only manage a bogey, meaning Garcia's superb birdie putt was enough to secure a memorable victory at Augusta.

All the way down the back nine it seemed (despite Matt Kuchar's best efforts) that either Justin Rose or Sergio Garcia were going to follow up Danny Willett's 2016 triumph with another for this side of the Atlantic.

His 12-foot birdie putt at the first extra hole dropped into the cup at the par-four 18th, triggering a massive cheer from an Augusta National gallery that began chanting his name after willing him across the line.

"I'm sure he helped a little bit with some of those shots or some of those putts", Garcia said.

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Now, they're headed back to the 18th tee box for the first playoff hole, tied at 9-under 279.

"I thought Sergio played very composed, played very well, and he played like he wasn't going to be denied - even after he made a couple mistakes".

Rose certainly was convinced, the Olympic champion going toe-to-toe with Garcia in a back-nine battle that at times played out like a heavyweight fight. "Because for a while there, it was 'What are we doing?' And I wasn't doing much wrong and that's what was so tough".

"I don't have the thing I need to have", Garcia said at the time.

It was a case of third time unlucky for McIlroy at Augusta as he tries to become only the sixth player - alongside Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen - to complete the career grand slam of all four major titles. Instead, Spieth scored a double bogey, which felt like a small victory compared to the shot that ended his quest for back-to-back Masters Titles past year. I'm happy, but I don't think I've changed. "Of course I could", Rose said. "I came to peace with it the last 3-4 years".

Garcia revealed after the win that he hoped to be paired with two-time victor Olazabal, after the former Ryder Cup captain sent him a good luck note before the tournament. "I felt the calmest I've ever felt in a major.I knew I was playing well", Garcia said after his win.

"No one deserves it more than you", Rose told him.

Rose, who also closed with a 69, graciously patted Garcia's cheek before they embraced. He missed a birdie putt on No. 16 to fall one behind Rose, then climbed back into a tie when Rose bogeyed the 17th, and the entire tournament came down to one hole.

"When I missed my putt", Rose said, "I feared for the worst".

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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