Sergio Garcia beat Justin Rose in a play-off to win the Masters
A magical Masters was reduced to a nerve-shredding matchplay shoot-out between the two European Ryder Cup grandees after their final round head to head went to extra time.
After blowing a four-putt birdie chance at the 72nd hole for the Green Jacket, Garcia finally prevailed after Rose bogeyed the first play-off hole. After four runners-up finishes, Garcia it brought the Major which looked like it would never arrive and sparked emotional scenes as last year's champion Danny Willett handed over the Green Jacket.
It was the first time a European had handed it on to a fellow European since Bernhard Langer passed it onto Jose Maria Olazabal in 1994 – with Garcia saying before he drew inspiration from fellow Spaniard and legend, the late Seve Ballesteros, who would have been 60 yesterday.
Sergio Garcia won his first Major at the 74th time of asking
The two rivals had reached the turn neck and neck after Garcia, who led by three on the sixth tee, was reeled in by three successive birdies from Rose.
The pressure the Englishman was applying seemed to affect turned into a woodland walk which allowed Rose to open up a two-shot lead.
Garcia's trials and tribulations included a penalty drop at the par-five 13th after finding the azaleas off the tee.
The drop was reviewed after suggestions he had inadvertently moved his ball but thankfully, after the fiasco involving Lexi Thompson at the first women's Major of the season, there was no additional penalty this time.
Sergio Garcia was embraced by Justin Rose after his victory
Garcia scrambled a par and with Rose missing a short birdie putt no further damage was done. Back came Garcia at the 14th with a birdie to cut the deficit by one and a brilliant approach shot to the 15th set up a 20-foot eagle.
With the old fruit nursery shaking with the cheers, it took all of Rose's steely nerve to hole out from close range for a birdie of his own to tie the lead again.
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As they left the green to a huge ovation, Rose tapped Garcia with his putter in a gesture of appreciation.
When Rose matched Garcia off the tee with a wonderful spearing approach to the short 16th, the Spaniard responded leaving his hand out for a low five.
Just when he needed it least, Garcia's putting glitches returned as he missed from three feet. With Rose having holed out from five feet for his birdie, it was advantage to the 36-year-old going to the 17th.
Garcia put himself in pole position with an excellent approach to set up a birdie chance from 20 feet but left it short. He had a break though when Rose failed to get up and down from the greenside bunker and bogeyed the hole meaning they went to the last hole all square.
Rose's approach shot at 18 skirted the right-hand bunker but took a fortunate kick off the bank took the ball to within ten feet. Garcia's response was superb as he drilled his shot inside Rose's to a thumbs-up from his rival.
Rose missed leaving Garcia a putt for his first Major but just as at Carnoustie a decade ago with The Open on the line, he missed.
Rose's wild tee shot as they replayed the 18th offered another Garcia opportunity and this time, with two putts from ten feet for the Green Jacket, he needed only one.
English golfers at the 2017 Masters
Tue, April 4, 2017
Express Sport runs through the field of English golfers chasing the green jacket at the 2017 Masters
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Express Sport runs through the English golfers competing at the 2017 Masters
Justin Rose lost out to Sergio Garcia in a play-off
For the American fans there was only disappointment as the dream pairing of Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler went into reverse, Fowler shooting 76 and Spieth 75.
He was already in trouble when the short 12th returned to haunt him as he found the water again off the tee.
Unlike last year, when the American's Masters unravelled with an eight, he escaped with a five but his day was done.
The run came from came instead from former champion Charl Schwartzel to put together two 68s over the weekend to claim third place.