The Garcia who sabotaged the road to his destiny so often with his conviction that the world was contriving to deny him his moment had gone.
In his place was a less angry, more accepting figure – a change that can be credited to the woman into whose arms he tearfully fell as his lifelong ambition was finally realised.
For the man who feared his chance of a Major had gone Angela Akins, 31, the American golf reporter who he will marry in July, turned out to be the missing piece of the jigsaw.
“Because of where my head was at sometimes, I did think ‘Am I ever going to win one?’ I’ve had so many good chances and either I lost them or someone has done something extraordinary to beat me so it did cross my mind,” said Garcia, 37.
“But lately, I’ve been getting some good help and I’ve been thinking a little bit differently and a little bit more positively.
“It’s not easy because I know how much of a hard headed man I can be sometimes but it’s been great.
Sergio Garcia has revealed the secret to his Masters success
“When you have good people around you and they are telling you a couple of things that you need to get better at and you know they are telling you from the bottom of their hearts you listen – and that’s what I did.
“I didn’t think I would be able to change this quickly but I’m glad I did. It turned out to be an amazing week in a place I love but where I’ve had some tough times. To be able to deal with some of those emotions and accept the good things and the bad things and keep going was something that definitely gives me a sense of extra pride.”
Garcia is no robot.
He is an emotional man whose personal and professional lives are permanently intertwined. When he split up with Greg Norman’s daughter Morgan in 2009, he was so heartbroken he gave up golf for a couple of months.
In Akins, a decent college golfer herself during her time at the University of Texas, he has found a soulmate and an unpaid psychologist. It is not a job for the faint-hearted – after 22 top-10 finishes in Majors there were more demons inside Garcia’s head than in Dante’s Inferno going into his 19th Masters – but she helped quieten them.
“I think she has added an extra dimension,” said his former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley. “It’s not like he was miles away – he was one per cent away from being a Major champion – but I think she has got a little bit of steeliness about her that has permeated through to Sergio. She’s a big voice in his ear.”
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Garcia was subjected to a barrage of positivity behind the scenes at the house they shared in Augusta by her during the tournament that turned Eeyore into Tigger.
“I got all of our family members and some really close friends to write him notes. I put post-it notes in the mirror in the bathroom – positive things, different quotes, and little messages. They were the same ones all week,” said Akins.
They came from diverse sources – Buddha at one extreme, Audrey Hepburn at the other – but they helped still the restless mind which had previously stood in Garcia’s way.
Acceptance became the theme of his week.
There was no greater test than when he caught a tree with his tee shot at the 13th in the final round and was forced to take a penalty drop.
Two shots behind Justin Rose at that point, it would have been typical of the old Garcia for it all to have unravelled in a tidal wave of recrimination but it didn’t.
Sergio Garcia held his nerve to edge out Justin Rose
He salvaged his par, Rose missed his birdie putt and the gap remained bridgeable.
“In the past, I would have started going at my caddie – ‘Why didn’t it go through and whatever’ – but I was thinking ‘Well, if that’s what is supposed to happen, let it happen. Let’s try to make a great five here and see if we can put a hell of a finish to have a chance. And if not, we’ll shake Justin’s hand and congratulate him for winning’. I think that I did that very well throughout the whole week,” said Garcia.
Even the missed putt for the Green Jacket on the 72nd hole could not disturb the equilibrium. Only when he birdied it on the first play-off hole did the mask come off with a tearful Garcia punching the green in elation.
“There were a lot of things going on through my mind. Some of the moments I’ve had here at Augusta that maybe I haven’t enjoyed as much and how stupid I really was trying to fight against something that you can’t fight,” he reflected.
“I was always asked about being the best player never to win a Major. Well, I don’t have to answer that anymore. I don’t know if I’ll be the best player to have only won one Major now. But I can live with that.”