He was known as one of the best golfers to never win a major. But all that’s changed thanks to a sudden-death duel. For 73 major-starts, Sergio Garcia ended his game with watching someone else hoisting a trophy triumphantly. It was on his 74th try that Garcia finally had the chance to be crowned champion. Though it didn’t come easy, this playoff had suspense, drama, and nail-biting action.
The first frame of the battle for supremacy, Garcia rebounded from two shots down with six holes to play. It was never a sure victory for either Justin Rose or Sergio Garcia, as both players battled back-and-forth for most of the day. Garcia was forced to master his temperament and focus. With such mounting pressure for a good performance and a tough battle against Rose, it would have been easy to settle for the “almost” winner. It wasn’t until the back nine that the Masters truly started, staying true to the age-old adage.
It was more than just an ordinary game. It seemed that the Spaniard’s entire career was represented in the nine holes that followed. Electrifying, panic-inducing moments for his opponent were combined with heart-wrenching, unstable plays that simultaneously produced moments of joy and disappointment. If his time in this game is anything to go by, this small-scale version of Garcia’s career was bound to end in a heartbreaking loss.
The par-5 13th was especially disappointing for Garcia’s fans. A penalty shot taken from under the trees ended with an embarrassing miscue. But Garcia managed to display resilience and perseverance, coming back from an error that should have cost him the tournament, and landing a par to match Rose’s. Unfortunately, this isn’t the only error Garcia made. He missed a six-footer for birdie on 16, watching as his putt from five feet at 18 wobbled.
Garcia had to dig deep more than once. He made birdie on 14 and an eagle on the 15th with a shot over water that left him 15 feet for the one-putt to share the lead. The real kicker came when he took advantage of Rose’s misjudged drive in the playoff.
For Garcia, a self-confessed fader rather than a drawer of the ball, the Augusta course wasn’t the most comfortable place. He made sure to accept his shortcomings and find ways to overcome them.
And now, Garcia’s green jacket is tucked away safely with the possibility of more Masters victories such to come.
Get the full article here.