Sergio Garcia: winning Masters on Seve Ballesteros’s birthday is something amazing

Sergio Garca hailed the influence both of Jos Mara Olazbal and the late Seve Ballesteros after the Spaniard aimed his 18 -year wait to win a major

Sergio Garca hailed the influence both of Jos Mara Olazbal and the late Seve Ballesteros after the Spaniard aimed his 18 -year wait to win a major championship with playoff success at the Masters. Garca watched off Justin Rose on the first sudden death hole at Augusta National to claim the Green Jacket amid highly charged scenes in Georgia.

On what would have been the 60 th birthday of Ballesteros, a two period Masters champion, Garca sensed influence from above. Olazbal was Spains last win here, in 1994 and 1999, and retains a close connection to the 37 -year-old Garca. A maiden major victory for Garca arrived at his 74 th endeavor and 71 st in a row.

It definitely popped in my intellect a few periods, told Garca of the Ballesteros anniversary. Theres no doubt about it. Obviously today a couple of times here and there. And Im sure he helped a little bit with some of those shootings or some of those putts.

This is amazing. To do it on his 60 th birthday and to join him and Olazbal, my two idols in golf my whole life, its something amazing. Jos sent me a text on Wednesday night telling me how much he believed in me. And what I needed to do, merely pretty much to believe in myself. To be calm and not let things get to me that Ive done in the past.

Jos Maras message was very special because hes my idol. Hes one; him and Seve are both my golfing idols since I was very, very little.

Obviously he did mention a couple of things that did kind of touched my heart a little bit. He told, Im not sharing my Augusta locker at the moment, and I hope that I get to do it with you. So if the guys here wouldnt mind putting me with Jos, it would be great.

Hes a great man and weve had a great relationship for many, many years. To be able to join him and Seve as Masters champions from Spain, its unbelievable.

Garca uncovered he felt very calm before the 69 which tied Rose at nine under par. The win had previously suffered major disappointments, most notably at Carnoustie in 2007 when a playoff capitulation handed Padraig Harrington The Open Championship.

Im very happy but I dont feel any different, told Garca. Im patently thrilled about what happened here but Im still the same guy. Im still the same goofy guy, so thats not going to change.

I think the problem was where my head was at sometimes. I did think about it: am I ever going to win one? Ive 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.

But lately Ive been get some good help and Ive been thinking a little bit differently a little bit more positive. And kind of accepting, too, that if it for whatever reason didnt happen, my life is still going to go on. Its not going to be a disaster. But it has happened.

I have a beautiful life. Major or no major, I said it many, many times: I have an amazing life. I have so many people that care for me and love me and support me. I feel so nicely surrounded.

Obviously this is something I wanted to do for a long time but it never felt like a horror movie. It felt like a little bit of a drama perhaps, but plainly with a happy ending.

Garca spoke of the warm embracing from Rose at the tournament climax. It was very nice. We gave one another a big hug and he said Nobody deserved it more than you do. It was a great battle. He played awesome.

The outpouring of congratulations towards Garca from fellow professionals was notable. None more so than in the case of Tiger Woods, who has suffered a notoriously difficult relationship with the new Masters champion. Woods took to social media to hail a well earned Augusta success.

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Whilst Rose admitted he will consider this major as one that slipped by, for sure he paid tribute to Garca. Sergio is patently the best player not to have won a major , no longer, added the Englishman. Any hour one of those guys gets a monkey off their back I think that attains it a poignant major championship.

We have played a lot of golf together since we were about 14 years old. We have always had a good friendship, a good camaraderie and a good rivalry. He was always happy for me and it must be hard for guys when they are striving to win majors but watch their peers pick them off. They maybe feel left behind.

It is nice for him now to have that monkey off his back and I am very pleased for him.

Rose instantly set his own sights on future success, including at Augusta. This is going to sting but I truly feel like this is a tournament that I can still go on to win, he said.

I have plenty more appears. I would like to win three or four Green Jackets but one would be enough. I just want to win here.

For me, golf is about April to September. Thats where the big tournaments are. Thats where the tournaments that change your career are. So this is the first one of four. I feel motivated for the summer and I will be moving on to set aims very quickly after this.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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