The Masters green jacket goes to Sergio Garcia of Spain. He claims the first major achievement in his long career and sheds the label “the best player never to win a major.” The final round of Sunday, April 9, 2017, saw him win in a playoff with long-time friend Justin Rose.
Garcia entered the final round tied for the lead and raced out to a two-shot lead after the first three holes. He held onto the lead until the tenth hole, when Rose gained with a birdie to Garcia’s bogey. The ghosts of lost opportunities looked as if they would creep up and trip the winner at that point.
Both battled back and forth over the final five holes of regulation play. Garcia was behind Rose by two shots coming into the 14th hole. He carded a birdie to Rose’s par to close within one stroke. From hole 14 on, the Masters was a two-man match.
Garcia hit a nice approach to the green on 15 and holed an eagle to Rose’s birdie and both were tied at nine under par. Sergio held the lead by one after the 16th but fell back into a tie with Rose after the 17th. The 18th looked like it would decide the championship.
However, the tension was not done because both players parred the 18th hole and had to go to a playoff hole before the title could be decided. Rose and Garcia went back to the tee on 18 to begin the playoff. Rose’s tee shot went awry and into the pine straw on the right of the fairway. Garcia countered with a perfect tee shot, but it was the second shot that determined the title.
Rose hit a poor shot out of the straw that only advanced about 30 yards. Garcia’s approach shot landed 10 feet from the hole. Rose made a splendid third shot but was still 5 feet farther away than Garcia. Rose could not sink the putt, and Garcia made his birdie to claim his major title.
It is notable that Garcia secured the Masters title on what would have been the 60th birthday of his idol, Seve Ballesteros, the legendary golfer also from Spain, who captured two Masters titles in the 1980s. Garcia has competed in every major tournament since 1999 without winning, until today. He has come close many times, and now, finally, the Masters green jacket belongs to Garcia.
Written By Daniel Osborn
Edited by Cathy Milne
CBS SPORTS: 2017 Masters Leaderboard: Sergio Garcia wins in playoff, scores, highlights
Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Daniel Osborn