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With Masters Win, Sergio Garcia Headed for Biz Breakthrough

21 April 2017

Sergio Garcia bested him on the first playoff hole, the 18th, with a birdie to Rose's bogey, earning him his first major in the process.

That gave the 37-year-old Spaniard two putts from 12 feet for the victory, and his putt swirled into the cup for a birdie. When they embraced at the last hole, Rose patted Garcia's chest, calling attention to the heart some doubted would ever be stout enough to win the big one.

Five years ago, Garcia said he didn't have the skills to win a major.

Rose, who also closed with a 69, graciously patted Garcia's cheek before they embraced.

The caddies who've seen their partner don the green jacket get to keep the flags from the 18th hole of a major - Murray now has one from the Masters.

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Clearly, they both desperately wanted to win what is arguably the crown jewel of men's golf's four majors.

Garcia blamed Woods for causing the gallery to distract him when they were paired together during the third round of 2013 Players Championship, and he had to apologize to Woods a few weeks later after an off-the-cuff comment about having Tiger over for dinner and serving him fried chicken.

Garcia's most memorable collapses came at the Open Championship in 2007 and the 2008 PGA Championship.

The 37-year-old Spaniard started the day in a tie with Rose, went three clear by the fifth, was pulled back to level on the eighth and then fell two behind by the 11th.

"But lately, you know, I've been getting some good help and I've been thinking a little bit, a little bit different, a little bit more positive". Garcia had a birdie from 10 feet and the ball circled the lip as it were and then dropped to spark of an emotional display by the victor.

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"Chipping and putting kind of went sideways on me", said Fowler, who closed with three straight bogeys for a 76 to tie for 11th, eight shots behind. Garcia said he thought of the late Seve Ballesteros while overcoming setbacks that would have derailed his less confident self. The state of Texas boasts the most Masters champions with 13 wins: Jack Burke (1956), Charles Coody (1971), Ben Crenshaw (1984, 1995), Jimmy Demaret (1940, 1947 and 1950), Ralph Guldahl (1939), Ben Hogan (1951, 1953), Byron Nelson (1937 and 1942) and Spieth (2015).

Garcia and Rose traded birdies on the front nine to make the turn tied, before Garcia bogeyed the 10th and 11th holes as Rose took a two-shot lead with six holes left. "I was very calm, much calmer than yesterday, much calmer than I've felt probably in any major championship on Sunday".

In more ways than one, Sergio Garcia was in unfamiliar territory Sunday afternoon at the Masters. He was forced to take a drop and assume a penalty stroke but pitched onto the three with his fourth shot and made the putt for par. He birdied 14 and eagled 15 from 15 feet.

And while Smith was a key component at the Games last summer, winning a silver medal in the pommel horse, he struggled to hide his emotions after losing out on gold to fellow Brit Max Whitlock - four years previously he had scored the same as Hungarian Krisztian Berki in the Olympic pommel, but came second by virtue of difficulty.

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