Sergio Garcia finally wins a major after playoff victory at The Masters

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You can now strike Sergio Garcia off the list of ‘best players never to win a major’.

In his 74th start, Sergio Garcia has finally won a major golf tournament after winning the 2017 Masters Tournament.

An epic battle with friend Justin Rose ended with both players tied at 9-under par, three strokes clear of former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel.

Garcia had a chance to win The Masters on the 72nd hole but his four-foot downhill birdie putt from behind the hole slid by to the right and we were set for extra holes.

A younger Garcia may have slumped his shoulders and lost the playoff. The Spaniard had already lost two majors in a playoff to Padraig Harrington; Ten years earlier when Harrington prevailed to win The Open Championship at Carnoustie and in 2008 at Oakland Hills at the US PGA Championship.

But Garcia would later go on to say he was the calmest he’d ever been on a Sunday at the majors and produced yet another stunning drive down the 18th after Rose found the trees on the right.

After Rose could only just find the fairway with his punch out, Garcia stuck his approach to 10-feet and the monkeys were readying themselves to jump off his back.

Rose missed his par putt, giving Garcia the opportunity to two-putt for the green jacket. He needed one – his putt curling in on the low side for a history-making finish.

The victory comes on the 60th birthday of Seve Ballesteros, the first-ever Spanish golfer to win The Masters.

Garcia looked in complete control early in the day, opening up a three shot lead on Rose at the fifth hole thanks to two birdies in his first three holes.

But Rose bounced back from bogey with three consecutive birdies at the 6th, 7th and 8th holes to tie Garcia in the lead at 8-under par.

An hour later and it seemed the wheels from any Garcia victory were falling off. A bogey at 10 and 11 had Garcia trailing Rose by two and when he uncharacteristically drove his ball into the bushes at the par-5 13th, it looked like another ‘close but no cigar’ finish for the Spaniard.

An unplayable lie led to a penalty drop but Garcia punched out and produced the first in a string of gorgeous wedge shots. Garcia made par from 10-feet and when Rose missed his birdie, suddenly the two-shot gap didn’t seem so insurmountable.

Jose-Marie Olazabal was the last person to eagle the 15th and go on to win on his way to a second green jacket in 1999. It was also the same year a young golfer by the name of Sergio Garcia was presented with the Silver medal for the leading amateur at The Masters.

Garcia almost holed his 8-iron approach shot for albatross at the 15th hole. The Spaniard made the eagle putt that Rose could only counter with a birdie and suddenly both players were tied at 9-under par.

Rose and Garcia produced two majestic tee shots at the par-3 16th hole. Rose made his more straight-forward uphill putt but Garcia missed his jittery, slippery downhill four-footer.

Scores were level again after Rose found the bunker at the 17th hole and couldn’t get up and down leaving both players tied for the lead going up the 18th and set for yet another enthralling finish on Sunday at The Masters.

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