Won for the ages: Sergio Garcia, conquistador of the 2017 Masters

"I've been in the last group a couple of times and shot 14 under when Jordan (Spieth) won". I lost to a record-setting performance, really. Garcia left it short, and the Englishman was alone in the lead once more, one ahead at 10 under with two to play.

Rose missed a 7-footer for birdie at the 18th hole, giving Garcia a chance to win the first major championship of his career from just 5 feet away.

The 23-year-old from Dallas won't spend too much time worrying about what happened this week, confident that his demeanor, poise and attitude throughout will serve him well the rest of the season.

But the real drama was yet to unfold, with leaders Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia tied at 9 under after completing the 18th hole and headed to the first play-off hole.

Up until then, the long-running duel between Garcia and Rose seemed bound to end badly for the Spaniard. That trip to a contented expression has taken almost two decades.

That was the case again early in Saturday's third round at Augusta National, where Hoffman broke out of a four-way tie for first by making birdies on two of his first five holes to take a one-stroke lead over Sergio Garcia.

On the scorecard mix-up, he added: "I saw it on the leaderboard on the 13th but the main thing was I knew where I stood".

Belgium's Pieters - considered one of the rising stars on the European Tour - moved into contention with another impressive showing on his Augusta debut.

The sportsmanship and camaraderie shown by the final pair was magnificent, complimenting one another throughout the back nine on every great shot or putt. He had to birdie three of his last four holes for a 75.

Garcia took his emotional, long-sought triumph over England's Rose, the 2016 Rio Olympic champion and 2013 US Open victor, after they finished deadlocked on nine-under par 279 for 72 holes at Augusta National. And in 2017, the Masters delivered once again. Garcia told to Jim Nantz on CBS after the win. But he didn't have a shot, low branches in his way, and par was his only option.

He struggled to find rhythm in a card littered with five bogeys, salvaging four birdies to keep him within touching distance. From 185 yards his approach shot didn't hit the green, it flew right into the hole for an eagle. "I'd love to be wearing the green jacket, but if it wasn't me, then I'm glad it is him". "I'm sure he helped a little bit with some of those shots or some of those putts".

Matt Kuchar has made a hole-in-one at the 16th hole to give himself an improbable shot at his first major title. "Many other years my score would have been good enough to win". He missed and had to go into a playoff.

This is the fifth and final year of Els' exemption from winning his fourth major at the 2012 British Open.

His 12-foot birdie putt at the first extra hole dropped into the cup at the par-four 18th, triggering a massive cheer from an Augusta National gallery that began chanting his name after willing him across the line.

Justin Rose, of England, tips his hat on the 18th hole during the third round of the Masters golf tournament Saturday, April 8, 2017, in Augusta, Ga.

Garcia won on what would have been the 60th birthday of Ballesteros, a date seemingly destined for great things from him.

"Sergio deserves it, if anyone does, He's had his fair share of heartbreak", said Rose, already a U.S. Open champion, who bogeyed the 17th hole to fall into a tie and also bogeyed the playoff hole after a wild drive into the right woods.

  • Salvatore Jensen