Instead of folding up, Garcia fights back to win Masters

Garcia had birdied the first and third and enjoyed a three-shot lead when Rose three-putted the fifth, but the Olympic champion responded superbly with a hat-trick of birdies from the sixth.

The 23-year-old had already been reduced to an also-ran when he dumped his tee shot into the water on the treacherous 12th, just as he did 12 months ago, finishing one under with Fowler.

Not two hours earlier, it looked like the Masters was his for the taking.

However, after making a birdie on the par-five second, the four-time major victor three-putted the fourth from 95 feet and had to scramble to save par on the next two holes.

"I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I don't even know how much it would mean", Garcia said of winning Sunday.

Positive, happy and calm were not attributes one would normally have used to describe the 37-year-old Garcia on the golf course prior to this week.

Or perhaps he was thinking of the 7-footer at the 17th, the one he just didn't hit hard enough, resulting in a bogey that sent him to the 72nd hole tied with Garcia.

The players returned to the 18th tee for the first playoff hole. It's a putt he has missed his whole career. Only two golfers had more major starts without a win, Greenville's Jay Haas and Lee Westwood, since 1934. Garcia said. "I've had so many good chances and either I lost them or someone has done something extraordinary to beat me". I felt fantastic out there. "I'm obviously thrilled", he said, "but I don't feel any different".

Garcia, on Sunday, finally brought Spain a second Masters Cup after his compatriot Jose Maria Olazabal achieved the first one in 1999, reports Efe.

"If there's anyone I had to lose to, it's Sergio", Rose said. He has had his fair share of heartbreak.

Both players hit superb tee shots into the 16th but although Rose was further away, he had the easier uphill putt and duly converted from seven feet.

He had a shot, hitting his approach to about 14 feet. Garcia "came out of a five-wood" on No. 10 and drove short, winding up with a bogey.

Two-time major champion Martin Kaymer of Germany showed the back nine opportunities by making five consecutive birdies, the last three in Amen Corner.

Rose, who was looking to become the first European player to win the Masters and US Open, said: "Lots of good things happened today". "I would have liked to be on the right part of it".

At that point, it was apparent this would be a two-man race.

The 2015 champion Jordan Spieth, who suffered that infamous collapse to open the door for Danny Willett past year, struggled from the outset in the penultimate group with close friend Rickie Fowler.

The group tied at 4 under through two rounds includes Charley Hoffman, Sergio Garcia, Thomas Pieters and Rickie Fowler.

He was notably burned by losing a playoff to Ireland's Padraig Harrington for the 2007 British Open at Carnoustie after having a putt to win on the final green. Rose birdied to match Garcia, then birdied the par-3 16th only to bogey and remain deadlocked to set up the closing drama.

The gallery was in disbelief that these two golfers could handle the pressure and hit back-to-back shots like that, but it was Rose who sank the birdie. 10 and 11 to fall two strokes back. "And I'm sure he helped a little bit with some of those shots or some of those putts".

  • Julie Sanders