On this day in 2017: Sergio Garcia wins Masters to end major drought
Sergio Garcia beat Justin Rose in a play-off to win the Masters at Augusta on this day in 2017.
It was the Spaniard’s first major title at the 74th attempt and came five years after he had claimed he was not good enough to win one of his sport’s biggest prizes.
Garcia, 37 at the time, perhaps could not have chosen a more appropriate day on which to open his account on what would have been his hero Seve Ballesteros’ 60th birthday.
After finishing 12th at Augusta in 2012, Garcia told Spanish reporters: “I’m not good enough. In 13 years, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to play for second or third place.”
Ballesteros, a two-time winner at Augusta National, would have approved of the nerve his compatriot showed to prove himself wrong on a dramatic final day.
Garcia and Rose headed for the 16th tee tied together on nine under par, three shots ahead of clubhouse leader Charles Schwartzel, and although the Englishman’s birdie gave him the advantage with two to play, he failed to get up and down from the bunker at the next and it was all square again.
The Spaniard missed from five feet when presented with a chance to win it on the 18th green, sending the two men back to the final tee for the first play-off hole.
Rose never recovered after pushing his drive into the trees, and Garcia took full advantage by sinking a 12-foot birdie putt.
He said: “It’s amazing to do it on Seve’s 60th birthday and to join him and (Jose Maria) Olazabal, my two idols in golf, it’s something amazing.”