Jack Nicklaus hails Sergio Garcia's 'sensational' Masters victory

Justin Rose left the door open on the 18th, but Garcia was unable to make the winning putt which took us to a playoff. on a sudden-death playoff with Garcia.

Rose led by two shots at 6 p.m., but saw that disappear in a blink when Garcia eagled No. 15 to knot the score at 9-under.

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.

The triumph was regarded as the Spaniard's make-or-break moment after a number of missed opportunities at previous Major tournaments, but he has insisted that he had never felt so relaxed.

"It was one of those days that I shot 75, but, boy, I felt great over the ball", Spieth said.

"I thought Sergio played very composed, played very well, and he played like he wasn't going to be denied-even after he made a couple mistakes". I felt the calmest I ever felt in a major.

"Without that, I think it would have been very hard to come back, even with the birdie at 14 and eagle at 15".

"If there's anyone I had to lose to, it's Sergio", Rose said.

"It has been such a long time coming".

The pair had finished tied on nine under par after closing rounds of 69, with Rose overturning an early three-stroke deficit 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.

Rose rolled his approach off a slope to eight feet from the cup, only to see Garcia land his approach five feet from the pin. Then Garcia pulled his tee shot on the seventh hole and managed to escape from the trees into a front right bunker, chip up close, and save par which warranted a nice fist pump. I feel confident here, I enjoy being here.

While understandably disappointed after such a near miss, reigning Olympic champion Rose, whose sole major success to date came in 2013 when he became the first English victor of the US Open for 43 years at Merion, expressed his happiness for his friend and European Ryder Cup teammate. Rose would hit his 2nd shot first and got a very fortuitous bounce to putt himself about 8 feet away for birdie. He only needed one and it was the biggest putt of his life.

The Englishman for his second shot could only punch his ball onto the fairway and the Spaniard put his ball 12 feet from the hole. South African Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters victor, was third on 282 with American Matt Kuchar and Belgian Thomas Pieters sharing fourth on 283.

Another of Garcia's idols, Olazabal - a two-time victor at Augusta - left a note for Garcia ahead of Thursday's opening round, and the new Masters champion is keen to take him up on an offer.

"We fought through it great through the week in the wind [on Saturday], getting a lot out of the round, making sure we stayed in the golf tournament".

  • Angelo Rivera