For the first time in 313 career starts as a professional, Sergio Garcia won a major golf tournament. It so happens that the tournament he won was the most important of the calendar year.
Garcia won The Masters on Sunday in a playoff over Justin Rose, as he birdied the first playoff hole to capture the green jacket.
The Spaniard played an incredible final round in what was a fantastic first major of the PGA Tour season.
Even with a pair of mistakes to open up the back-nine, Garcia was able to rebound and secure the one win that eluded him for his entire career. Garcia has battled many demons during his entire PGA Tour career, from his feuds with Tiger Woods to his inability to finish off tournaments.
Part of the reason for his problems come from his putting, which he has worked on continuously throughout his time on Tour. On Sunday though, it seemed that his same putting problems were coming back to haunt him, especially on the 18th green.
Garcia hit his second shot to five feet, and with that make would have won the tournament in regulation. Garcia’s putt never had a chance to go in, as he pushed it to the right of the hole and would eventually tap in for par.
As Garcia and Rose played the same hole again in the playoff, he would hit his second shot in nearly the same spot, but instead, it was a 12-foot putt.
For Rose, the tournament was over after he hit his tee shot into the trees, causing him to punch out. Once Garcia hit his second shot on the green, he just needed two putts to capture the green jacket.
This win for Garcia does wonders for him, and one can only imagine what can come next. To me, Garcia is still an average to below-average putter and there are still some question marks there, but this win should give him the most confidence he has ever had.
If there is one thing that Garcia does well, it is hitting fairways. Garcia has a beautiful golf swing and strikes the ball extremely well, but on the PGA Tour, putting means everything.
Personally, I have never been one to shy away from my dislike of Garcia. I feel that he is not a role model for younger golfers and can be very unsportsmanlike in a lot of instances. That, though, is beside the point.
Nothing takes away the fact that Garcia played an unbelievable final round and earned this win.
This Masters victory was also important for Garcia, in that he became just the third Spanish-born golfer to win the green jacket. Any time you represent an entire country and win a prestigious tournament, it magnifies that much more.
Garcia joins the likes of the late Seve Ballesteros and José María Olazábal to win. Both Ballesteros and María Olazábal won the tournament twice in their respective careers.