Garcia takes first major with Masters win
AN 18th hole Augusta putt-off crowned Sergio Garcia Masters king after a back-nine showdown for the ages.
Locked as leaders nearly five hours earlier Garcia and England's Justin Rose each rose and fell on a stunning Georgian Sunday before the Spaniard finally took his turn to stand out, securing a maiden major nearly two decades in the making.
After 73 winless majors Garcia nailed a playoff birdie as the sun began to set, having fallen two behind during his round, missing a first-time final hole birdie to win, and summoning everything his acres of experience had taught him to prevail.
But it took a second trip down the jam-packed final hole for it to happen.
Their first time around was good enough to get there, Rose getting a bounce to remember off the top of the greenside trap with his final approach and his ball rolled to two metres.
Garcia shot second and went even better, inside the Englishman by at least half, coming in around the other side of the flag.
But Rose missed and with everything to gain, and so much to lose, memories of 73 previous winless majors came back to haunt the sorry Spaniard.
Garcia pushed his 1.5 metre putt just past the hole and they were off to do it all again.
The lucky bounce again went Rose's way off the tee and he found trees, or one solid enough to send his ball back in to the pinestraw. But he didn't have a shot, low branches in his way, and par was his only option.
Enter Garcia, all those major catastrophies swirling in his mind. He'd found the fairway, again, and he put it close, again.
Not as close as before, but close enough.
Rose two-putted from afar, Garcia had two putts to win, nailed it in one and the Spanish celebration began.