Sergio Garcia: Winning the Open Championship would be bigger than the Masters

Garcia, who won the Masters in a playoff on Sunday from Justin Rose, said his first major success in 74 attempts had given him a taste for more.

Sergio Garcia of Spain lines up a putt on the 18th hole during the final round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on Monday in Augusta, Georgia.

Sergio Garcia finally showed he has what it takes to win a major, and he has a green jacket to prove it.

"They are my idols my whole life", said Garcia, who was born the year the late Ballesteros won his first of two Masters in 1980.

Garcia also paid tribute to Rose and revealed that the Englishman told him when they hugged on the 18th green, "nobody deserved this more than you". "I'd like to win three or four green jackets, but one would be enough, you know. I have always believed in you", said Olazabal, the parrot-nosed victor in 1994 and 1999. "I've had so many good chances and either I lost them or someone has done something extraordinary to beat me".

"The Masters is like the Champions League, but the British Open is like the Champions' Champions League".

Olazabal sent Garcia a message on the eve of the tournament with words of advice and encouragement, as well as a special request for some company in the small Champions' Locker Room at Augusta.

Garcia, who has been plagued by self doubt when it came to majors, once said he did not have what it takes to be a major champion but demonstrated on Sunday during an enthralling rollercoaster battle with Rose that he does indeed possess the tools, demeanor and determination of a champion.

"He did mention a couple of things that kind of touched my heart a little bit".

"I think it was just belief, simple as that", he said. He's a great man. His ensuing putt just dropped into the hole on its final half of a roll and gave him a one-stroke lead, temporarily.

Garcia closed the gap with a birdie on the 14th and then produced a stunning approach to the 15th, which pitched inches short of the hole and appeared to glance off the pin.

He may then have been helped by Rose, having edged his nose in front again with a birdie at the 16th, dropping a shot at the penultimate hole, but Garcia wasn't going to denied on this occasion. In 2015, during Zack Johnson's Open Championship win at St. Andrews, he said the golfer's wife was probably thinking she would "get a new kitchen" if he won the tournament.

IN golf, you basically win with putts. And Sunday it's the calmest I felt nearly in any tournament, even though I was playing for a green jacket. "I'm obviously thrilled about what happened here today, but I'm still the same goofy guy, so that's not going to change". "I would have liked to be the right part of it, but nevertheless I hope it's a good one".

The BBC trotted out almost the same excuse then as it did this week: "Peter made a lighthearted comment which was inappropriate and we apologise if anyone was offended". Of course I could. I really stepped up. I felt fantastic out there. I felt great. I felt in control.

  • Julie Sanders