Mon, Apr 10, 1:11pm by Head Editor
Sergio Garcia is finally a major champion after competing in 74 consecutive majors over 19 years. The win came at his 19th attempt which is the most by a first-time winner, and came on the 60th birthday of his hero, the late Seve Ballesteros.
The world number 11 played with incredible consistency for the whole week with 45 of his 56 drives hitting the fairway, meaning he was second in accuracy, he was also second in greens in regulation, hitting 54 of the 72 greens across his four rounds.
The 37-year-old has finished in the top ten of a major a record 22 times and becomes the third Spaniard to win after Seve Ballesteros who won in 1980 and 1983 and Jose Maria Olazabal who also won twice, in 1994 and 1999.
In his acceptance speech he spoke about the years of self doubt that he has endured but that this week he felt different. The Spaniard finally delivered the long awaited title when his three-metre birdie putt at the first extra hole dropped into the cup at the par-four 18th.
This triggered a huge cheer from a gallery that had been on the edge of their seats. One punter who would have cheered even louder than the gallery at Augusta was this TAB speculator, who placed $5,000 on Garcia to don the green jacket at the odds of $41.
The TAB tweeted about his or her exploits on Thursday morning, and then retweeted it this morning after Garcia’s putt dropped.
The sportsmanship shown by the man who Garcia defeated in the play-off – Justin Rose – was great to see, and typifies what the Masters is all about. The two are good friends, and were level after nine holes to ensure the back nine showdown was enthralling to watch.
The play-off was the first since Adam Scott beat Angel Cabrera to become the first Australian to win the Green Jacket in 2013 at Augusta National. Speaking of Scott, he was the best placed Aussie, finishing in a tie for ninth, his 16th top ten finish at a major.
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