Masters 2017: Justin Rose positive on Augusta hopes after Sergio Garcia play-off

Coming so close on Sunday at Augusta National does not make it any easier - although Rose handled the aftermath of his playoff loss to Sergio Garcia at the Masters with class and grace, and he spoke of having many more chances.

The 37-year-old Spaniard, who has nine career PGA Tour wins and 18 global victories, credited his new attitude as a big reason why he is no longer one of the best players in the world without a signature victory, saying it was the calmest he's ever felt in a major on Sunday.

Rose struggled to find momentum early, making par on the first four holes - one after a missed 3-foot putt - and making bogey on the fifth to fall three shots behind Garcia, who made two birdies in the first four holes.

Deadlocked at nine-under par as they reached the 72nd regulation tournament hole, both drove into the fairway.

Rose was gracious in defeat, admitting that he was happy to see his Ryder Cup team-mate Garcia finally win a major. Rose then tapped Garcia on the heart, which turned out to be a lot bigger than anyone realized.

Sergio Garcia fell behind Justin Rose on the second nine of the 2017 Masters and needed a spark. "I still believed", he said.

But losing out on the green jacket "stings", Rose said, especially considering it was a tournament very much in his grasp.

Ageless wonder 57-year-old Fred Couples, who won his only Green Jacket 25 years ago, inched his way into the contention with three birdies on his opening four holes to get to one under, six off the pace. Faldo diagnosed Rose's options on his second shot after a poor tee shot before Nantz and Faldo let Garcia's second shot breathe for viewers.

That day, Garcia became one of the prime contenders for the maligned "best player to never win a major" tag. I felt fantastic out there. Afterwards he said "I'm not good enough".

"But lately I've been getting some good help and I've been thinking a little bit different, a little bit more positive, and kind of accepting that if, for whatever reason, it didn't happen, my life is still going to go on - it's not going to be a disaster". Then he made a great putt.

"I felt today the calmest I've ever felt in a Major tournament".

But Garcia dug deep and produced a clutch par save at the 13th after pulling his drive into the shrubbery, and he followed a birdie at 14 with a superb eagle at the next to regain a share of the lead. I've been hitting that drive every day like a high cut. "It gave him the energy to do what he did at 14 and 15".

Garcia repeatedly said the par save on No. 13 was crucial to pulling out the Masters championship.

"I just think he's still the same Sergio, but he has found a place mentally that he has been searching for", she said.

"It's awesome to do it on Seve's 60th birthday and to join the two idols in my life is something wonderful, too", said the 37-year-old before having the Green Jacket slipped over his shoulders by Danny Willett.

"It would have been nice to swing a little better, like I have been but that was a little off". Kuchar, who fired a five-under par 67 to finish tied for fourth at five-under 283, was celebrating the ace when he noticed a boy wearing a hat styled like that of PGA Tour-record 82-time victor Sam Snead, a button proclaiming he was a member of Arnie's Army in memory of the late Arnold Palmer, and a loud bright orange outfit matching the style of U.S. star Rickie Fowler. "I feel motivated for the summer, and I will be moving on and setting goals very quickly after this".

  • Julie Sanders