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In winning, not only did Garcia get off the schneid, shedding the oft-applied title of being the "best player never to have won a major", but he also set some records in doing it. Putts that curled around the hole only to spin away.

He was 19 and already heralded as a star and the most likely rival for Tiger Woods. His confidence faltered, his nerves failed him, his fortitude couldn't hold down the fort.

Among Twitter notes of congratulations were: "I couldn't be happier for @TheSergioGarcia".

The pair exchanged the lead on numerous occasions during the final round at Augusta but after missing one putt to win in regulation play, Garcia birdied the first playoff hole after Rose could only make a bogey.

"It has been such a long time coming".

Sergio sank the first putt and any golfer will tell you, "There's no disgrace in losing to a birdie". It took seconds, but it felt like years.

But the Olympic champion sees no reason why he can not challenge for a green jacket again and is already turning his focus to the next three majors, with the U.S. Open at Erin Hills just over two months away.

"Any time one of those guys gets that huge monkey off their back", Rose said graciously, "I think it makes it a poignant major championship". Spieth was hoping to forget last year's collapse on Sunday at Augusta and Rory was hoping to complete the career Grand Slam.

"We've been talking about it", Garcia said.

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One thing about that label over the years: It can be seen as a compliment. In fact, just five years ago the Spaniard had ruled himself out of ever winning a major championship.

"I'm disappointed, that's pretty simple I suppose", said Rose, the men's gold medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Garcia, meanwhile, scrambled for a par to stay two back. Rose's putt tickled the right edge and slid by and Garcia's putt missed badly, either due to a bad read, bad stroke or, given Garcia's perceived history, rotten fate.

Garcia's cast-iron par took them down 18 all square and the gripping tension intensified when Rose blocked his approach to the last and caught a huge break as his ball kicked off bank of the right bunker and rolled down to within 10 feet of the hole.

However, after taking a penalty drop and pitching out onto the fairway, he got up and down from 90 yards for par and saw Rose unable to hole from six feet for birdie.

The day began with Garcia and Rose tied for the lead at 6 under, but at least a dozen golfers were within range of a Sunday run to victory.

"You know, the par on 13 obviously was big".

"In the past, I would have started going at my caddie, 'Oh, why doesn't it go through?' or whatever", he said.

That line was amusing because in the past, not everybody laughed along. He finally managed to change it all in 2017. "Or I didn't chip it close enough and I'd still miss the putt". "I know how much it hurts him". "And I'm sure he helped a little bit with some of those shots, some of those putts".


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