Gar­cia Takes Ma­jor Ti­tle At Last With Masters Win

An emo­tional first Ma­jor vic­tory af­ter 73 at­tempts

Golf Asia (Malaysia) - - TEE BOX - BY JIM SLATER

Spain's Ser­gio Gar­cia cap­tured his first ma­jor golf ti­tle af­ter 73 failed at­tempts, mak­ing a birdie on the first play­off hole to de­feat Justin Rose and win the 81st Masters. Gar­cia took his emo­tional, long-sought tri­umph over Eng­land's Rose, the 2016 Rio Olympic cham­pion and 2013 US Open win­ner, af­ter they fin­ished dead­locked on nine-un­der par 279 for 72 holes at Au­gusta Na­tional.

"Whew, it has been such a long time com­ing," Gar­cia said. "I felt a calm­ness I never felt on a ma­jor Sun­day." The 37-yearold Spa­niard took the great­est tri­umph of his ca­reer, and a US$1.98 mil­lion top prize from a US$11 mil­lion pay­out, on what would have been the 60th birth­day of his idol, two-time Masters cham­pion and three-time Bri­tish Open win­ner Seve Balles­teros, who died of brain can­cer in 2011 at age 54. "It's amaz­ing," Gar­cia said. "To do it on his 60th birth­day, it's some­thing amaz­ing."

Last-group play­ing part­ners and friends Gar­cia and Rose were level for the lead at the start of what be­came a ten­sion-packed thrill

Ser­gio Gar­cia of Spain cel­e­brates with the Masters Tro­phy dur­ing the Green Jacket cer­e­mony af­ter he won in a play­off

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