Sergio Garcia wins the Masters, ends drought at the majors

Beth Cruz
April 12, 2017

Garcia went onto bogey Nos.

This time, they were accompanied by a smile.

Sergio Garcia is no longer in the conversation of outstanding golfers to never win a major.

In the moments that followed, you could literally watch almost twenty years of frustration and self-doubt melt off of Garcia's face.

And then he shot 79-83 at Carnoustie and sobbed on his mother's shoulder on his way out.

Still, it was easy to sense Spieth's disappointment detailing his miscues after the round while Garcia and Rose were locked in battle that eventually was won by the Spaniard in a playoff. "There's a handful of them, and any time one of those types of players gets that huge monkey off their back, I think it makes it a poignant major championship".

Garcia has shown major promise since his youth, his skills reflected in 10 PGA Tour wins and another 12 European Tour titles.

That left Garcia with a chance to win his first major title at the 74th attempt, but his putt from five feet slid past the hole and meant the Ryder Cup team-mates finished tied on nine under par after closing rounds of 69.

He crouched in disbelief, both fists clenched and shaking, and he shouted above the loudest roar of the day. He shouted multiple times. Meanwhile the crowd chanted the name of the conqueror.

"It's going to sting for sure, " Rose said.

Along with the happy reflections of the people around him - including Angela Akins, the former Golf Channel reporter he plans to marry in July - that final burst of emotion was thinking about "moments that unfortunately didn't go the way I wanted". Also making the cut was 20-year-old Australian Curtis Luck, who qualified for Augusta by winning both the U.S. Amateur and the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship.

"Should be a great match-up in the last group", Garcia said.

Rose was two shots ahead when Garcia bogeyed the 10th and 11th, but on what would have been the 60th birthday of Seve Ballesteros, his fellow Spaniard Garcia crucially saved par after an errant drive and penalty shot on the 13th.

Entering Sunday in a tie with Rose at six-under, Garcia took control early.

It was at this point that the wind turned in favor of Garcia.

What changed this year is that Garcia caught some breaks and finally had the maturity to acknowledge that's how it's been all along - the good AND the bad. We've been friends for a long time and playing golf against each other since we were 14. And from that calm emerged the grit that Garcia had lacked. Rose, meanwhile, had less than 190 to the hole on his second shot, overshot the green and missed a 5-footer for birdie.

Rose valiantly played a fine pitch but his par-saving putt from 15 feet missed to the left of the hole. Both missed, and we were on to a playoff.

Rose put on one hell of a performance Sunday but came up just short. "It would be nice, but I don't know". "Thanks to that, I was able to do it".

Garcia, generally recognized as the best player never to win a major championship, finally removed that stigma against someone who knew a bit about how that felt before his breakthrough victory at the 2013 U.S. Open. There are scars from majors. "I'd like to win three or four green jackets, but one would be enough".

It looked as though it belonged there all along.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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