Sergio Garcia wins the Masters, ends drought at the majors

Rosalie Stanley
April 12, 2017

Justin Rose is back in the clubhouse with a 5-under 67 and a share of the Masters lead. It's a common refrain around here and not one that attracts much sympathy.

Garcia opened the back nine with two bogeys and trailed by two at the par-5 13th, where his drive landed under a bush.

It was like waiting for a bus. It came on the first extra hole of the 81st Masters. The nine US players who made the cut were 7-over, a difference of 18 shots.

Garcia's victory at Augusta almost completes the cycle of the most coveted titles in golf in his native country. Tied at nine-under-par after 72 holes, Rose and Garcia returned to the 18th tee for their sudden death playoff. Each had a potential putt to lose sleep over coming in - Garcia a four-footer for birdie at 16, Rose a six-foot par saver at 17.

For the first time in 313 career starts as a professional, Sergio Garcia won a major golf tournament.

Now, all Rose could do was watch as Sergio Garcia curled in a 12-foot birdie to finish off a dramatic duel at Augusta National. To me, Garcia is still an average to below-average putter and there are still some question marks there, but this win should give him the most confidence he has ever had.

However, Rose could only punch out and then wedge his ball to 14 feet while Garcia stuffed his iron shot to 12 feet and drained the birdie to win.

All that's left is for Garcia, who has played on five winning Ryder Cup teams, to lead Europe to a victory as a captain.

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Rose and Garcia began the final round tied for the lead at 6 under but the Spaniard, playing in his 74th major event and still looking for his first win, quickly moved to a three-shot lead thanks to birdies on the par-4 first hole and the par-4 third and Rose's bogey on the par-4 fifth. "And I'm sure he helped a little bit with some of those shots or some of those putts".

There was never a charge from the pack - 67s by Kuchar and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama were the low rounds - which allowed Rose and Garcia to focus on each other and the difficulty of the golf course. He went one better after Sweden's Jonas Blixt and Rose posted runner-up finishes in 2014 and '15, respectively.

Hoffman shot a 7-under 65 on Thursday to take a four-stroke lead.

This Masters victory was also important for Garcia, in that he became just the third Spanish-born golfer to win the green jacket. You just try to calm yourself down, take some nice, deep breaths. "I was 2 yards into the rough so many times, and it makes a huge difference on controlling the distance out of the rough".

Even the missed putt for the Green Jacket on the 72nd hole could not disturb the equilibrium.

"Just a lot of things going through my mind", he said. "He's a great man and we've had a great relationship for many, many years". Garcia played two clean shots, and when Rose missed his par putt, Garcia had the luxury of getting down in two.

It all started with a charismatic 23-year-old who took Augusta National by storm in 1980. "Some of the moments I've had here at Augusta that maybe I haven't enjoyed as much and how stupid I really was trying to fight against something that you can't fight", he reflected.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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