Justin Rose: Masters defeat 'probably one that slippedBy Kelly Sanders Apr 11, 2017
The Masters delivered another tournament for the ages.
It has always been clear that Sergio Garcia has a rare talent.
It was the 37-year-old's first major triumph at the 74th attempt and came after a number of near-misses in the game's biggest events, including four runners-up finishes among 22 top-10s.
What he found on Sunday, starting with his drive to the golf course, was a calmness he had never felt in the previous three times he played in the final group.
"But it's happened", he said.
The Northern Irish golfer has four majors to his name, but lusts after the Masters, a tournament which he came so close to conquering in 2011, but which instead conquered him.
"I don't know if I'll be the best player to have only won one major", he said, smiling, "but I can live with that".
"I actually thought I hit a really good iron shot into 13", the Olympic champion said.
"Even that, you know, in the past, I would have started going, you know, at my caddie, and oh, you know, why doesn't it go through and whatever. But I can live with that".
Speaking on his victory, BBC Sport quoted the newest recipient of the Green jacket, saying: "It has been such a long time coming".
"It was very special that Sergio could win on what would have been Seve's 60th birthday".
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His victory in the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion confirmed his place among golf's elite players and he finished runner-up to Jordan Spieth in the 2015 Masters.
"A lot of things were going on through my mind", Garcia added. It was a wonderful battle with Sergio. "If anyone deserves it, it's Sergio". Garcia then proceeded to bogey Nos.
Back on level terms with three holes left, Rose landed the next blow by sinking an eight-foot birdie before Garcia missed a tricky five-footer.
Garcia birdied the 14th and followed with a brilliant 8-iron off the flagstick at the 15th, setting up an eagle that tied him for the lead.
This was shaping up as another, especially after Garcia watched a three-shot lead disappear as quickly as it took Rose to run off three straight birdies on the front nine.
That set the stage for 18.
Rose teed off first on the 18th, pushing his drive right into the trees, while Garcia hit his drive down the fairway almost 300 yards. However, Rose missed the putt giving Garcia two chances to win the championship.
Asked about his previous comments about the course, Garcia told a media conference: "I don't know".
Schwartzel finished alone in third after a closing 68, with Matt Kuchar - who had a hole-in-one on the 16th - and Belgium's Thomas Pieters a shot behind.
As former victor Charl Schwartzel (-6) made a push along with debutant Thomas Pieters (-5) Matt Kuchar (-6) stole the show and got the crowd going with a sensational hole-in-one on the 16. Rose hit a decent third but was unable to save his par, leaving his opponent with two putts to end 18 years of misery.
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