Published: Sun, April 16, 2017
Sport | By Cecil Buchanan

Garcia wins 1st major title at the Masters

It didn't matter. Garcia curled in a 12-foot birdie that gave him the green jacket.

A month later he finished second to Tiger Woods in the US PGA Championship at the age of 19, but had since recorded a further 21 top-10 finishes without tasting success.

The popular Spaniard - who had seemed destined to be one of golf's almost men - won with a birdie on the first hole of a sudden death play-off after the pair had finished the final round tied on -9.

While the idea of Garcia wearing the jacket and standing next to his fiancé in her white dress on their wedding day does seem ridiculous, the golfer did have to overcome years of disappointment to win his first major.

"Everybody that is around me is helping me, making me not only a better golfer, but a better person", said Garcia.

Finally, after 73 career starts in majors, the can't-miss kid who only five years ago said he he wasn't good enough to win a major, finally didn't miss. 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. "I felt a calmness I never felt on a major Sunday". "I've had so many good chances and either I lost them or someone has done something extraordinary to beat me.' So it did cross my mind".

Paul Casey completed another fine tournament at Augusta in sixth spot, while Rory McIlroy was forced to settle for seventh place after failing to get himself into title contention.

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In a golfing sense, "El Niño" had graduated to "El Hombre", having joined his heroes Seve and Jose Maria Olazabal as Masters champions... "This one is a little bit too big".

"I had chills from about 75 yards out and to have everyone here to support me, what an honor", Hagestad said.

"He's a great man and we've had a great relationship for many, many years".

Rose will have to wait for another year to try to add a Masters title to his 2013 U.S. Open and 2016 Olympic gold medal.

Garcia then birdied the 14th and eagled the 15th, where Rose responded with a birdie to head to the 16th tee tied for the lead. But he thrilled the gallery, which was solidly behind him all afternoon, by draining the birdie putt for a two-shot win.

Garcia opened the back nine with two bogeys and trailed by two at the par-5 13th, where his drive landed under a bush. All Garcia had to do was to sink the 5-foot birdie, but he missed. I just want to win here. But in the past, I would have started going at my caddie 'why doesn't it go through and whatever?' But I was like, well, if that's what is supposed to happen, let it happen.

The LPGA Tour said the new tournament, to be played at Brickyard Crossing Golf Course in Indianapolis, will be September 7-9, ending on a Saturday.

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