I would love to be wearing the Green Jacket but if it wasn’t me I am glad it is him.
It was a case of third time unlucky for McIlroy at Augusta as he tries to become only the sixth player – alongside Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen – to complete the career grand slam of all four major titles. Instead of pouting, he figured out how to make par. Usually resigned to fail, Garcia proved to be more resilient than ever. He finally is a major champion, a Masters Champion.
However, Rose later failed at the first hole of the tiebreaker, where Sergio Garcia finished with a birdie, achieving his first green jacket of victory. “I was very calm, much calmer than [Saturday], much calmer than I’ve felt in any major championship on Sunday”. Garcia had already declared in a moment of doubt that he did not have what it took to win a major tournament.
Garcia got about 110 yards on his third shot, a punch-out, leaving him 90 yards short of the pin. “Ser-gee-oh!” from the gallery.
“Justin wasn’t making it easy”. I still believed there were a lot of holes I could go after.
In gaining the victory, Garcia joined Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal as the only Spanish-born Masters champions.
On donning the famous green jacket on the anniversary of Ballesteros’ birthday, Garcia added: “To join him and Jose Maria, my two idols in golf my whole life is something wonderful”. He battled to the end.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? History said the 37-year-old Spaniard would fold, as he had so often before. “He’s had his fair share of heartbreak”. Spieth shot a 75, Fowler a 76. Sergio looked like he was going to have a disaster at 13 and then gets out of it with par. That little two-shot swing there was kind of when he was back in the tournament.
Everyone figured this was coming, right? All he had to do was two-putt for a par and the win. Four times he was runner-up. It was the third time he was in the last group. Advantage, Garcia. Momentum, Garcia.
Garcia’s fourth shot hit inches from the cup and spun eight feet away. The pairing both missed putts and birdie chances on the 72nd hole which forced the play-off.
Rose led by two after 11 holes. But it’s also ridiculous to suggest that nerves and attitude haven’t held Garcia back, and many athletes like him, from reaching their potential over the years.
Garcia and Rose’s subsequent approach shots landed at 12 feet and 14 feet respectfully.
Rose’s approach shot at 18 skirted the right-hand bunker but took a fortunate kick off the bank took the ball to within ten feet.
The playoff didn’t last long. On one hop, the shot hit the flagstick and settled some 18 feet away. “It gave him the energy to do what he did at 14 and 15”.
Rose punched back with a birdie of his own to tie, and it was on. After Rose birdied No. 16 to retake a 1-stroke lead, he had a par putt on No. 17 that would have put him in the driver’s seat to win the Masters. Fowler, who is still looking for his first major title, shot a 4-over-par 76.
Garcia was headed to a playoff, and … well, this will surprise the people who have seen him lose so many majors and waggle his club over the ball a dozen times before hitting and publicly say that maybe he wasn’t cut out to win majors, but Garcia likes playoffs.
He complained about bad breaks and verbally sparred with Tiger Woods, a spat that turned ugly when Garcia made a dumb “fried chicken” joke at an awards banquet in 2013. Not at all. I have a handsome life. “It’s not going to be a disaster”, Garcia said.
“But it’s happened”, Garcia added with a laugh.