Sergio Garcia outlasts Justin Rose to claim Masters, first major

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy's hunt for a first Masters win continues after he finished three-under for the tournament following a 69 today.

Both men finished nine under par after 72 holes in one of the most gripping finales Augusta has seen. Rose put his third to within 14 feet.

The Spaniard has regularly challenged for major honours and has remained within touching distance of the top 10 since bursting on to the scene as a prodigious teenager backed to rival Tiger Woods for golfing dominance.

Rose took the lead with an 8-foot birdie on the 16th and gave it back by missing a 7-foot par putt on the 18th.

Tied going to the back nine, Garcia immediately fell two shots behind with wild shots into the pine straw bed under the trees. On the 15h, Garcia produced perhaps the shot of his career, setting himself up for an exquisite eagle to move ahead.

Garcia had rallied to tie Rose for the lead with three holes remaining.

He somehow managed to save par but Rose capitalised on those errors as the Englishman seemed certain to close in on his maiden green jacket.

The duo were brought level once again after Rose bogeyed the 17th as Garcia found par, meaning both players were at nine-under heading to the 18th tee.

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.

Sergio Garcia has won the Masters. Rose rolled his chip down to 5 feet and missed the birdie putt.

Rose managed to make a birdie, but it wasn't enough to keep the lead. 10 and 11 to fall two back.

Former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel birdied the 18th for a 68 to finish third.

Matt Kuchar of the United States and Belgium's Thomas Pieters shared fourth place on five-under. Most surprisingly, Spieth, who had earlier gone 29 straight holes without a bogey, had four of them on his front nine for an opening 38.

  • Julie Sanders