Sergio Garcia wins Masters; first major of career

The Spaniard, who is looking to secure a long-awaited first major title, ended the third round of the U.S. Masters on Saturday as joint leader alongside Olympic champion Justin Rose on six under par.

Winners do get to wear their green jacket whenever they are on the grounds of Augusta National, but after the first year, that is the only place it can be worn.

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.

Seeking to become the first European player to win the Masters and US Open, Rose overturned an early three-stroke deficit in the final round to lead by a shot after 16 holes, only to bogey the 17th and then fail to convert a birdie attempt from seven feet on the last.

Garcia had a chance to win it on the 72nd hole, only to miss his five-foot putt to get to 10 under par.

He has been one per cent away from being a major champion and it hadn't happened up until now.

After slipping on a green jacket, the new Masters champion said, "It's been such a long time coming". Garcia got out there with his four.

"Jose sent me a text on Wednesday night telling me how much he believed in me and what I needed to do, and just pretty much believe in myself and to be calm and not let things get to me like I have in the past".

Now he has proved himself wrong.

Garcia, meanwhile, striped his drive and stuck his approach shot to within 12 feet for birdie. "Because for a while there, it was 'What are we doing?' And I wasn't doing much wrong and that's what was so tough". "And when I was out of it, I was his biggest cheerleader, just being really good friends with Rickie". And the Spaniard's victory was particularly poignant on the day his compatriot and idol - the late, great Seve Ballesteros - would have turned 60.

"You know, good for Sergio", Rose said, when asked what he thought about the gallery's surprising Sergio support. "He's had his fair share of heartbreak, so he deserves it". Other than that I had it won.

Sergio GarciaI did think about, am I ever going to win one?.

Spieth did regret the negative impact his performance had on world number eight Fowler, who had started the day just one shot off the lead.

"I still have 20 or so left that I feel really primed and ready for". "It's another good tournament and I'm fortunate to come back here for another 50 years".

On the 10th, the hole where Rory McIlroy's challenge imploded back in 2011, Garcia kept the driver in his bag and opted to use a 5-wood off the tee for safety and positioning. At No. 13, a bad lie led Garcia to take a drop and fall a stroke off the pace, definitely out of scoring position on the par-5 Amen Corner exit hole. He had to birdie three of his last four holes for a 75. "It would be unbelievable if you win The Masters on such a special date", he tweeted before Garcia's impressive final round got him the clubhouse lead at nine-under with Rose.

At 19 he scissor-kicked onto the American scene with an impossible, eyes-closed slash from the trunk of a tree to the right of Medinah's 16th fairway.

Par would have sufficed after Justin Rose hit wayward first and second shots at No. 18.

  • Stacy Allen