Trio of missed putts come back to haunt Rose

Spanish golfer Sergio Garcia fired a birdie on the first playoff hole against Englishman Justin Rose to win the Masters Tournament and claim his first major title here on Sunday.

Garcia awoke on Monday after only about four hours sleep following prolonged celebrations of his green jacket triumph at Augusta National, and he did not intend to stop enjoying it any time soon.

The green jacket symbolizing Masters supremacy once seemed like the last major prize Garcia would contend for, having called the Augusta National layout silly and insane and suffered heartbreaking near-misses over two decades of trying.

"Sergio is obviously the best player not to have won a major, no longer", Rose said. Perhaps his lowest ebb of self-doubt was five years ago when he admitted "I'm not good enough to win a major" after a awful third round at Augusta.

"For me, the most positive thing is that I feel like I have so much room for improvement". So it did cross my mind.

It makes sense if you relive Sunday's final round, which turned out to be match play between Garcia and Rose.

Sergio Garcia has won the first major championship of his career with a dramatic, sudden-death victory over Justin Rose at the Masters.

Garcia then birdied the 14th and made a 15-foot putt for an eagle on the 15th.

It marked the first Masters playoff since Adam Scott beat Angel Cabrera to become the first Australian to wear the Green Jacket in 2013.

The win was made more emotional by the fact it fell on what would have been the 60th birthday of Garcia's hero and compatriot Seve Ballesteros.

Garcia had the best chance to win on the 18th when he missed a putt from close range, as Rose had already missed from an earlier distance. "I'm still the same goofy guy, so that's not going to change", Garcia said. Runner up Rose was gracious in defeat, and one of the first to lead the congatulations to the newest champion along with the 2016 champion Danny Willett.

However, after taking a penalty drop and pitching out onto the fairway, he got up and down from 90 yards for par and saw Rose unable to hole from six feet for birdie. I felt cool, calm and collected.

"If there's anyone to lose to, it's Sergio".

"He deserves it as much as anyone out here". He has had his fair share of heartbreak. Garcia quickly took a two-stroke lead with birdies on Nos.

Both players hit superb tee shots and Rose converted from seven feet before Garcia missed his shorter attempt, but Rose was unable to get up and down from a greenside bunker on the 17th.

The momentum had shifted and Garcia took full advantage, curling in a six-foot birdie putt at the 14th although Rose parred to stay one ahead. But he sank a 7-footer to save par.

  • Julie Sanders