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And Garcia said he has nothing but respect for his friend and rival.

"It's always nice to be a part of history", Rose said.

Rose and Garcia, the 37-year-old Spaniard, turned pro a year apart (1998 for Rose and 1999 for Garcia) and grew up in the game together. But it also beat back all the labels that had threatened to follow Garcia to the grave - that his unfulfilled potential had made him a disappointment, that he had lost the verve and joy that once had defined him, that in the largest moments, he came up small. I think the key was the par at 13. "And it was - Sergio got off to a great start, and when I birdied 6, 7 and 8, it became pretty apparent that it was me and him down the stretch, really".

By late afternoon, the final pairing went to the back nine, where tradition tells us the Masters truly begins, and it soon became a two-man battle between Rose and Garcia.

"But I knew that I was playing well.I felt today, I felt the calmest I've ever felt in a major, a major Sunday". "I've still got a bunch of good years in front of me".

Afterwards Rose wasn't in the mood to punish himself for his missed opportunity on the 17th: "I can't pick holes in my performance".

After making the turn Garcia bogeyed 10 and 11 that would give Rose a 2 shot lead.

South African Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters Victor, was third on 282 with American Matt Kuchar and Belgian Thomas Pieters sharing fourth on 283. Sunday would've been Seve's 60th birthday. I've hit it - this week, I've hit it twice and both times it went left.

Sergio Garcia is happy as can be after clinching the Masters title.

Seventeen years later, the jacket is his. "It gave him the energy to do what he did at 14 and 15".

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"It's been such a long time coming and I thought I had it on 18".

"It's been a long wait but it's that much sweeter because of that wait", Garcia said after being presented with his green jacket by 2016 champion Danny Willett.

Rose teed off first on the 18th, pushing his drive right into the trees, while Garcia hit his drive down the fairway almost 300 yards.

"I've been hitting that drive every day like a high cut". I felt positive. I felt confident.

On his way off the green, he kneeled again and pounded the green with his fist one time. Rose missed his par putt which would allow Garcia to win the Masters with 2 putts. "I'm sure he helped a little bit with some of those shots or some of those putts". There were two players out there in the final group, the other being the highly credentialled Englishman Justin Rose, but it was still all about Sergio.

But he did wince when his 9-foot birdie putt at the final hole of regulation slid mercilessly on the low side of the cup.

Rose bunkered his second shot on No. 17 and couldn't save par.

When it was over, when Garcia had finally done what it seemed like he might never do, when he had blown the chance to win on the last hole and then won anyway, he was nearly strangely at peace with it.

Going into Sunday's play it was the two Europeans who were top of the leaderboard with most pundits predicting that the American pairing of Rickie Fowler (-1) and Jordan Spieth (-1) would pressure the top two.


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