Sergio Garcia, of Spain, reacts after making his birdie putt on the 18th green to win the Masters golf tournament after a playoff Sunday, April 9, 2017, in Augusta, Ga.
Much was made of the connection to Ballesteros throughout the week, but Garcia highlighted the influence of another Spanish two-time Masters champion, Jose Maria Olazabal.
Rose, the 2013 U.S. Open victor, took the lead when he birdied the par-3 16th via a 10-foot putt, after which Garcia missed a quick left-to-right breaker from half that distance.
The players returned to the 18th and Rose was unable to save par after pushing his drive into the trees and hitting a poor recovery, but Garcia finished an unforgettable day in style by holing from 12 feet for birdie. Garcia managed to save par with a 7-foot putt, Rose missed a 5-foot birdie try, and Garcia wiped out the deficit over the next two holes.
Both Rose and Garcia missed birdie chances on the 72nd hole, but the latter made no mistake the second time around before letting out a roar of celebration.
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Garcia and Masters runner-up Justin Rose were ranked 11th and 14th respectively in the world last week, but it was hardly a surprise they ended up separating themselves from the field, especially in the absence of Johnson, who pulled out at the last minute with a back injury. "He's had his fair share of heartbreak". "So when you aren't able to get the ball up and down out here, or make those key five- to 10-footers, this is what happens". He suffered a double bogey at the tricky par three on Sunday.
"Everybody that is around me is helping me, making me not only a better golfer but a better person", Garcia said. "I think that at the end of the day, that's really the only thing you can do".
"It's going to sting for sure", he said.
Along with the happy reflections of the people around him - including Angela Akins, the former Golf Channel reporter he plans to marry in July - that final burst of emotion was thinking about "moments that unfortunately didn't go the way I wanted".
Garcia celebrates a clutch putt early in his final round against Rose.
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Rose and Garcia began the final round tied for the lead at 6 under, but the Spaniard quickly moved to a three-shot lead thanks to birdies on the par-4 first hole and the par-4 third and Rose's bogey on the par-4 fifth. Spieth, though, started clawing back with a birdie on No. 16 to reframe his focus and, although he was 10 shots down, he had confidence he could contend. "I didn't just hit the ball up and down or make the putts I needed to". "I know how much it hurts him".
Matt Kuchar and Thomas Pieters tied for fourth at 5-under.
Garcia says he has learned to accept bad bounces.
PAST CHAMPS HOVERING: Justin Rose and Jordan Spieth aren't the only past Masters winners hanging close to the top.
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