AUGUSTA, Ga. >> Seve Ballesteros would have turned 60 on Sunday. He would have been prepared for the remaining dwelling if he’d needed to watch his Spanish countryman lurch and spurt to his first main championship.
Sergio Garcia led by three strokes, trailed by two, took an unplayable lie, missed two putts within the closing three holes that have been barely longer than a yardstick.
He nonetheless received the Masters, in a playoff over Justin Rose.
“I used to be excited about Seve this week,” Garcia mentioned of the two-time Masters champion and essentially the most charismatic participant of his technology, who died in 2011.
“I used to be calm at the moment, even when issues weren’t going effectively, even once I may need mentioned that it wasn’t meant to be. I believe I confirmed my character, my mentality. I’m comfortable, however I don’t assume I’ve modified. I’m nonetheless the identical goofy man.”
Nobody has ever waited 19 tries to win his first Masters, and Garcia freely admitted Sunday that this isn’t his favourite course. However he was the perfect participant all week. He was the one man to shoot 4 under-par rounds. He made solely seven bogeys and floor out 50 pars.
In the long run he received it with straight-line, precision golf. Rose had put his drive on 18, the primary playoff gap, into the best bushes and needed to pitch the ball up the golf green, attending to the inexperienced in three. Garcia drove completely and threaded a 9-iron to inside 12 ft. He might have received in two putts however rolled it in for a birdie.
However there have been extra twists and turns than a Grand Prix race, and there have been moments when Garcia seemed each cursed and defeatist.
He led by three strokes early, enjoying alongside Rose. Then Rose birdied his means again right into a tie. Garcia “got here out of a five-wood” on No. 10 and drove quick, winding up with a bogey. On 11 he pulled his tee shot into bushes and three-putted. Rose now led by two.
Each males felt the event modified on the 13th, when Garcia pulled his drive into underbrush and needed to take a penalty. However he sank a 7-footer to save lots of par. Rose missed a 6-footer for birdie. The lead stayed at two.
“That was a two-shot swing,” Rose mentioned. “If I make and he misses, then I’m in all probability Thomas Pieters or Charl Schwartzel as those to beat.”
Garcia then birdied 14 and hit the flag along with his second shot on the par-5 15th. When that 14-footer went in for eagle on the identical time Rose was making birdie, the 2 have been tied.
Garcia then hit a “actually unhealthy putt” on 16 from four ft that robbed him of birdie, and Rose re-took the lead with an Eight-foot birdie with two holes to play.
However Rose’s method discovered sand on 17 and he couldn’t stand up and down.
The 2 hit basic photographs into 18 after which hit forgettable putts.
“That putt is sort of a opposite little putt,” Rose mentioned. “It’s a delicate break. I believed it might break and it simply stayed excessive. I might have hit a greater putt on 17, too. However I’m not going to sit down right here and second-guess a number of photographs. It was a special occasion.”
The youthful contingent couldn’t problem the 37-year-old Garcia and the 36-year-old Rose, who’ve been contemporaries for over 20 years in varied golf competitions.
Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler shared distress. Spieth shot 75 and was six strokes behind Garcia six holes into the spherical. Fowler bogeyed his closing three and shot 76.
“It was weird,” Spieth mentioned. “I believed I hit some nice photographs and so they simply didn’t come down the place I believed they might, and that will get you into bother right here.”
Pieters was on the verge of contending till he bogeyed the 16th out of a bunker and completed fourth with Matt Kuchar, who aced the 16th. Schwartzel, capturing a second consecutive 68, was third.
Hassle has adopted Garcia all through his main profession. Lastly, on Sunday, he was elusive sufficient to shake it.