So close: Justin Rose comes up short in bid for green jacket

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

After Rose could only make bogey, Garcia hit a sublime approach before sinking his first putt to claim the title and the coveted green jacket.

"Oh, two misses", Spieth said as he looked toward the scoreboard.

"It is unbelievable. To do it on his (Ballesteros's) 60th birthday and to join him and Jose Maria Olazabal, my two idols in golf, it is something wonderful", said Garcia before accepting the Green Jacket from last year's victor Danny Willett in Butler Cabin.

Day had a great chance to keep things going on the par-3 16th, but his birdie try from 45 feet grazed the cup.

The playoff began on the 18th hole.

"I'm really happy with the way that we finished off this round to get back to red", he said. I felt fantastic out there.

Going into Sunday's play it was the two Europeans who were top of the leaderboard with most pundits predicting that the American pairing of Rickie Fowler (-1) and Jordan Spieth (-1) would pressure the top two.

In the end, it wasn't enough.

It seems like a century ago that Garcia burst onto the scene as a 19-year-old, battling Tiger Woods shot for shot at the US PGA Championship only to fall a stroke short.

"If there's anyone to lose to, it's Sergio". "He's had his fair share of heartbreak". Both players shot 9-under 279 in regulation. Rose had a poor tee shot and second shot on the first playoff hole, and Garcia stuck his second shot inside of Rose's third shot.

As soon as it was over, Rose walked out to embrace Garcia in the middle of the green. Among the other contenders: former U.S. Open victor Justin Rose (143) and past Masters champions Adam Scott and Phil Mickelson (both at 144).

"I'm going to be disappointed for about a month and golf's going to take over", said Rose. "I would have liked to be on the right part of it".

He rolled in a 5-foot putt at the first hole, breaking a tie for the lead with England's Justin Rose.

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

He had a run of five birdies over a four-hole stretch to pick up four shots on the leaders who had yet to tee off.

Sergio Garcia got into trouble on 13 with his drive when he put it under an azalea bush. Garcia sank a testy 8-footer to save par. The two past Masters champions are paired together in the third round and early on picked up much of the large Saturday crowd. He ended the drought in style though, defeating Englishman Justin Rose in a playoff. "And I think because of that I'm able to stand here today".

"But I made peace with it the last three of four years and I accepted that Augusta gives and takes".

Rose certainly had his chances in this one.

  • Julie Sanders