Tuesday, 27 June, 2017

Sergio Garcia wins the Masters, ends drought at the majors

Sergio Garcia won the Masters on Sunday defeating Justin Rose on the first playoff hole Sergio Garcia won the Masters on Sunday defeating Justin Rose on the first playoff hole
Damon Campbell | 16 April, 2017, 02:52

Every time I walk down the hill along the No. 11 fairway and into Amen Corner, I think about the incredible picture I took in that location of the No. 12 green lined with azaleas that same year.

Following his big win at The Masters on Sunday, the professional golfer appeared on "The Today Show", where he talked about his achievement and his future wedding ceremony.

Garcia said he thought of the late Seve Ballesteros while overcoming setbacks that would have derailed his less confident self.

Sunday at the Masters was a most joyous occasion, far different from when Garcia teed it up in his first major as a pro in the 1999 British Open at Carnoustie. So this is the first one of four. I wasn't really cheering for anybody on Sunday, but I have to admit, it was great to see Garcia break through.

"I probably hit one of the best 8-irons I ever hit", Garcia said. It's the Spaniard's first major title in 74 starts, and his first national SI cover.

Justin Rose found it hard to find fault with his performance in an unforgettable final round of the Masters, but admitted failing to secure a second major title was "going to sting".

Westwood had a birdie putt on the final hole at Torrey Pines to get into a playoff with Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate in the 2008 U.S. Open. His fiancee's family. All were mentioned as possible reasons why Sergio Garcia finally broke through to win his first major at the 2017 Masters.

Twice on 18 (the 72nd and 73rd hole), Garcia was the king of the moment, dropping a pair of approach shots that won him the tournament.

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Indeed, Garcia's victory hardly elevated him to the top echelon of favourites in betting for the next major, the US Open at Erin Hills in Wisconsin in June. "I've had so many good chances and either I lost them or someone has done something extraordinary to beat me".

"I felt pretty much in control of my game and the tournament for the most part all day", Rose told reporters.

Much was made of the connection to Ballesteros throughout the week, but Garcia highlighted the influence of another Spanish double Masters champion, Jose Maria Olazabal.

The two par-fives on the back nine proved pivotal, with Garcia making a clutch seven-footer to save par at the 13th before Rose missed a six-footer that would have taken him three clear.

'In the five previous holes I had struck the ball very well. "It would be nice, but I don't know".

Remarkably, Garcia would make par, like Rose who only managed a three-putt, and he came alive on the 14th and 15th as he recorded a birdie and eagle respectively to ensure that the duo went to the 16th hole sharing the lead and with a four-shot lead over the field.

Indeed, everywhere Garcia walked at Hazeltine, he heard chants from the home crowd reminding him of his failure to win a major.

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