Sergio Garcia outlasts Justin Rose to claim Masters, first major

Sergio Garcia won his first major title on Sunday by making a birdie on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to beat Justin Rose at the Masters.

Playing Augusta National’s 18th hole in the playoff, Rose sent his tee shot into the trees to the right and was forced to punch out close to where Garcia’s tee shot ended up in the fairway.

Garcia’s approach came within 10 feet, and Rose followed to within 14. Rose missed the putt. Garcia stepped up and rimmed in a birdie putt for the victory.

Both players missed birdie putts on 18 in regulation, with Garcia’s a real dagger. He was 5 relatively flat feet away from his first major victory. Rose had slipped his putt past the hole from 7 feet.

Rose led by a stroke heading to 17, but he hit his approach shot into the greenside bunker and couldn’t get up and down. His bogey put both golfers at 9 under.

Garcia rallied to tie Rose for the lead with three holes remaining. He birdied the 14th hole and followed with an eagle on the par-5 15th after his approach shot caught the flagstick and stopped 15 feet away. The putt barely trickled into the cup for his first eagle in 452 holes at Augusta National.

Rose managed to make a birdie, but it wasn’t enough to keep the lead.

He reclaimed the lead at the 16th hole with a brilliant tee shot, which set up an 8-foot birdie putt that pushed his score to 10 under.

Garcia’s tee shot was even closer, curling back toward the pond before stopping 6 feet away. But the Spaniard pulled the putt and settled for a par that left him one stroke behind with two holes remaining.