Sergio Garcia

Augusta (Georgia), April 10 (IANS) Spanish golfer Sergio Garcia fired a birdie on the first playoff hole against Englishman Justin Rose to win the Masters Tournament and claim his first major title here on Sunday.

Garcia, 37, finally brought Spain a second Masters Cup after his compatriot Jose Maria Olazabal achieved the first one in 1999, reports Efe.

Garcia said he was very satisfied and very proud not only of how he performed during the game but also of all the people who supported him since the beginning of his career.

Garcia, with a four-day total of nine-under 279 (71-69-70-69) went head-to-head with Rose (71-72-67-69) at the last hole in regulation play, forcing a playoff.

However, Rose later failed at the first hole of the tiebreaker, where Garcia finished with a birdie, achieving his first green jacket of victory.

Garcia’s sensational eagle on the 15th hole was a major part of his final victory at the Augusta National Golf Club.

The Spanish golfer even landed his tee shot behind a tree once on the 11th, but he was able to recover masterfully.

“From the drive this morning to the course I was very calm. I felt the calmness I’ve never felt on a major Sunday. Even after making a couple of bogeys, I was still very positive. I still believed there were a lot of holes I could go after,” Garcia told the tournament’s website.

“I’m so happy…It’s been such a long time coming.”

“It was a wonderful battle with Sergio,” said Rose, now runner-up in the Masters twice in three years. “If there’s anyone to lose to, it’s Sergio. He deserves it. He’s had his share of heartbreak.”

South African Charl Schwartzel finished third after scoring 68 that pushed his total to six-under 282. One shot behind Schwartzel were American Matt Kuchar (67) and Belgian Thomas Pieters (68). Kuchar played a stunning hole-in-one at the 16th hole.

Englishman Paul Casey was seventh with a total of 284, while Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy and American Kevin Chappell shared the seventh place on an identical total of 285.

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