Profile of US Masters champion Garcia

He couldn't catch a break.

Both Americans finished tied for 11th on one under par, eight shots behind Garcia, who beat Rose in a playoff. Putts that curled around the hole only to spin away. For him, he has to face that every single time he got in contention.

"It seems a little more steady, and that can only bode well for the future". There was always going to be a cloud of dirt and dust following him around.

Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler were supposed to lead the American charge in the final round of the Masters but the U.S. pair fluffed their lines while Sergio Garcia delivered a storybook ending to the first major of the year.

"Then he made a great five at 13; great second shot at 14; eagle at 15 with an unbelievable shot; had a tough putt he missed at 16; nice par at 17 and a really good shot at 18 and he just misread the putt".

"Whew, it has been such a long time coming", Garcia said.

Rory McIlroy's bid to try and complete what is fast becoming an exclusive career Grand Slam will have to wait another 12 months after being unable to make his presence felt over the final two rounds. It took seconds, but it felt like years. Rose, who has one major - the 2013 U.S. Open - to his name, showed disappointment in being unable to win the Masters.

Last-group playing partners and friends Garcia and Rose were level for the lead at the start of what become a tension-packed thrill ride of a final round. "This week I've done it better than I ever had".

Any talk about Garcia's history before this Masters would have been a tale filled with anguish. "And I hit one of the best putts I hit all week".

Barely five years ago, after Augusta National got the better of him yet again, Garcia stormed off and said he'd had enough. On the Sunday morning drive to Augusta National, Garcia said nerves were at a minimum. Garcia is a longtime star but still seeking his first major championship.

"I would say this one probably is one that slipped by, for sure", the 36-year-old Englishman said, quickly adding: "I can't pick holes in my performance".

Garcia repeatedly said the par save on No. 13 was crucial to pulling out the Masters championship. Rose then doubled up by being unable to save par on the green.

Garcia squatted and shook with excitement, rose and screamed with joy and hugged good pal Rose before walking around the green to revel in the moment, pumping his fist and punching the green in delight.

His birdie putt missed, too.

"This tournament was just not for me", said the South African, a Masters runner-up in 2000 and 2004.

That line was amusing because in the past, not everybody laughed along.

An emotional golfer, Garcia remained focused throughout the final round.

Prior to No. 18, Rose and Garcia both put in some phenomenal golf. On the par-5 hole, Garcia was able to get his ball back onto the fairway and save par.

And so it was Rose taking consolation honors, while Garcia celebrated his first major championship. "I felt I could go out there and freewheel it, and I hit two great shots to finish it". "I feel if he misses there I'm full clear and looking at Thomas Pieters and Matt Kuchar". So it did cross my mind. "Hopefully he can start to kick up the success rate a little bit more".

"But", he said finally, a wide smile stuck in place, "it's happened".

Jordan Spieth of the United States reacts to his birdie on the 15th green during the third round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on 8 April, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia. And he didn't totally rule out the possibility of wearing his new green jacket when the couple ties the knot.

  • Julie Sanders