Rose has Masters determination after play-off defeat


Yet the mere simplicity of that sentence does not begin to do the occasion, or the gripping duel, justice.

His win comes on what would have been the 60th birthday of fellow Spaniard Ballesteros, the 1980 and 1983 victor of the Green Jacket, who died in 2011.

The 2017 Masters marked his 74th major appearance. "It was a great fight between two wonderful golfers coming down the end". The black Pomeranian was in Augusta for Garcia's major victory, but it gets better.

But in the post-victory euphoria, after a one hostile U.S. crowd had chanted "Sergio, Sergio", there was real and commendable candour.

"I would say this one probably is one that slipped by but I can't pick holes in my performance". The player who often sparred with American galleries and was known to brood on the golf course was now smiling and joking and basking in the adulation accorded him by the patrons who chanted his name, "Sergio, Sergio".

Now that Garcia, at age 37, was able to exorcise the demons so many of us questioned he ever would or could, those players still seeking a first major can cling to a renewed hope: If Garcia could do it, with all the baggage he accumulated over the years, so can they.

"Well, " he went on, "I don't have to answer that anymore". He did birdie three of his final four holes, but he had to do that just to finish with a 75 for a 1-under-par total for the tournament.

"If looking for a defining moment, I don't think anything would have happened without that par save at 13". But it never felt like a horror movie.

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"We've been talking about it, and it hasn't been decided yet", Garcia said.

"I felt a little bit sloppy with my swing, a little loose", Henley said. "Him and Seve are both my golfing idols since I was very, very little", said Garcia.

Garcia becomes the third Spaniard to wear the Green Jacket, joining Jose Maria Olazabal, who also triumphed twice at Augusta, in 1994 and 1999. 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. But I'm happy with how I putted, how I hung in there and gave my best shot.

Garcia and Masters runner-up Justin Rose were ranked 11th and 14th respectively in the world last week, but it was hardly a surprise they ended up separating themselves from the field, especially in the absence of Johnson, who pulled out at the last minute with a back injury.

Rose took the positives out of his second runners-up Masters placing in three years. I feel really confident here, this my favourite tournament of the year.

"Lots of good things happened today".

"If there's anyone to lose to, it's Sergio. He deserves it, he's had his fair share of heartache".