A long, tearful road to a major for Sergio Garcia

A long, tearful road to a major for Sergio Garcia

A long, tearful road to a major for Sergio Garcia

"If I had to lose to anybody, it would be to Sergio". He deserves it, he's had his fair share of heartache.

Two early birdies and a bogey from Rose briefly gave Garcia a three-shot lead in the final round, only for Rose to respond with a hat-trick of birdies from the sixth.

In a testament to what it meant back home, Garcia's triumph displaced Real Madrid and Barcelona on the front pages of two sports dailies, a feat nearly as fantastic as donning the green jacket in the football-crazed country. Rose was poised to deliver a knockout on the par-5 13th when Garcia went left beyond the creek and into the bush. "That putt really turned the clock a little bit for me".

Garcia has been plagued by self doubt in the majors and once said he did not have what it takes to be a major victor. Four times he was runner-up. He's finished second three times, including twice at the Masters, and third six times. If it looked like Garcia was prepared to renew his entire image and reputation, the crowd was eating it up.

And he'll never forget that final hole of regulation, his first crack at No. 18, where another 7-footer burned the edge of the cup.

Rose went back ahead with a birdie at the 16th, Garcia pulled even again when Rose bogeyed the 17th, and they both missed those short ones at the 18th. Two shots behind Rose, who looked in full control, it appeared to be the same old story for the Spaniard.

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After his win Sunday, his Green Jacket draped over his shoulders, Garcia had fun with that "best player never to win a major" label. Garcia answered with a wedge that covered the flag and settled 5 feet away. Rose's putt tickled the right edge and slid by and Garcia's putt missed badly, either due to a bad read, bad stroke or, given Garcia's perceived history, rotten fate. But for the most part, I'm not going to sit here and second guess one or two shots.

McIlroy admitted he had simply not played well enough to seriously challenge for a green jacket, despite battling back from being three over par after eight holes to card an opening 72.

However, there was disappointment for both Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, with the American pair only shooting rounds of 76 and 75 respectively to finish in 11th position.

Sergio Garcia had always been his harshest critic, once saying he was not good enough to win a major, but on Sunday he buried decades of heartbreak and meltdowns by clinching a stirring win at the U.S. Masters.

That why his comments all week at the Masters that he had changed his attitude, that he was learning to accept bad bounces, was met with skepticism. Obviously, our Majors probably didn't help anything, the ones I won, but before that we were rivals.

"If it, for whatever reason, didn't happen, my life is still going to go on". "He definitely popped in my mind a few times, there is no doubt about it", Garcia said of Ballesteros, who died in 2011 of complications resulting from a cancerous brain tumour. He fell out of the race on the front nine by shooting a 38, then added two more bogeys and a double through 14.

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