It seemed that Sergio Garcia was destined to go down in golf history as the greatest player never to win a major.
He was too mentally fragile.
He didn’t like Augusta.
There were 100 reasons why Sergio would never win a major. Then Sunday happened, and it happened in a way that pretty much summed up the roller coaster that has been the Spaniard’s career.
He was three up, then he was tied, then he was two down, then tied again. When the dust settled though, something was different. Sergio Garcia was finally a major winner.
“Obviously this is something I wanted to do for a long time, but it never felt like a horror movie,” Garcia said. “It felt a little bit like a drama, maybe. But obviously with a happy ending.”
In the 13th fairway Sunday, it seemed like the horror movie was going to get another chapter added to it. After seemingly getting every break in the book all week, it seemed Garcia’s luck had finally run out after he pulled his tee shot left into some Azalea bushes. Already two shots down to Justin Rose, and with Rose comfortably in the fairway, it seemed like the moment when the infamous Sergio meltdown was about to occur.
“In the past, I would have started going at my caddie, ‘Oh, why doesn’t it go through?’ or whatever,” he said. “But I was like, well, if that’s what’s supposed to happen, let it happen. Let’s try to make a great 5 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.”
That’s exactly what happened. Sergio hit a fantastic recovery shot out of the pine straw, then got up and down out of the green-side bunker and walked away with a par. Meanwhile, Rose, who was looking at a six footer for birdie, inexplicably two-putted and also walked away with a par. Suddenly, Garcia had new life.
He immediately birdied the 14th, then followed that up with a 14 footer for eagle at the 15th to keep the pressure on Rose. Heading to the 18th tee all square, it seemed like maybe Garcia had finally put the demons to rest.
As his birdie putt rolled in on the 73rd hole, he didn’t just beat Justin Rose and the rest of the field at Augusta National, he beat his demons as well.
“We couldn’t ask for anything more than winning the Masters,” Sergio’s father Victor said through tears. “It’s the best thing ever!”
It was the rare horror movie with a fairy tale ending.
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