Sergio Garcia: Golf's almost man finally breaks through
Sergio Garcia: Golf's almost man finally breaks through
Green jacket proves Garcia can win a major
21 Abril, 2017, 20:04
He overcame a two-shot deficit against Justin Rose and won on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff.
Garcia's fourth shot, a wedge, left him with a 6-footer for par; Rose's third, a chip, stopped at 7 feet for birdie.
But on the brink of disaster, Garcia battled back, salvaging a par at 13 and staying two back when Rose missed a three-foot birdie putt.
Garcia competed in 73 of them before this weekend with Padraig Harrington denying him glory at The Open in 2007 and the PGA Championship in 2008.
After almost two decades of heartache in the tournaments that define careers, Garcia finally showed the mettle to win a major. But it's always nice to be recognized or seen as the best player to not have won a major, because at least [you're recognized as a] 'best player.' There's a good thing there. As a victor of 31 worldwide events, with four runner-up finishes and 21 top-10s in majors, and his role as a European Ryder Cup stalwart, he's often found atop subjective lists of "best players without a major". But he has won the US Open and is the reigning Olympic champion.
Garcia led by three strokes after five holes, fell two behind after 11, then roared back to force the playoff and sank a 15-foot birdie putt to claim victory.
A year later, Harrington rallied from three down to Garcia on the back nine and beat him at Oakland Hills in the PGA Championship. "It's one of the things I'm most looking forward to", Garcia said. Garcia won with a birdie.
"He definitely popped in my mind a few times, there is no doubt about it", Garcia said of Ballesteros, who died in 2011 of complications resulting from a cancerous brain tumor.
On that bright sunny day at the start of 2015, Garcia took time out to provide us with the inside track on the Masters and the Augusta National course.
What he found on Sunday, starting with his drive to the golf course, was a calmness he had never felt in the previous three times he played in the final group.
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"I know my game and if I feel comfortable I can win any week and that includes the Majors. To be there as Masters champion, it's going to be extra special". But for the most part I'm not going to sit here and second-guess one or two shots. When I faced them, even with a trophy on the line, there wasn't the iontensity that existed against a player I didn't know or didn't like.
Along with the happy reflections of the people around him - including Angela Akins, the former Golf Channel reporter he plans to marry in July - that final burst of emotion was thinking about "moments that unfortunately didn't go the way I wanted".
"But I made peace with it, I accepted what Augusta gives and takes and it brought me here". His ensuing putt just dropped into the hole on its final roll and Rose answered by holing out a four-foot birdie putt for a tie at 9 under to set up what would be a four-hole match, including the playoff, for the title.
In 2010, when Phil Mickelson won, and I chose him as the victor, my other four Top 5 selections weren't and I wasn't within a sniff of winning a cent.
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