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A Different Sergio

Sergio Garcia wins the Masters to capture his first major title in 74 career starts

Sergio+Garcia+gets+his+famous+green+jacket+after+winning+the+Masters.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+PGA.com%29
Sergio Garcia gets his famous green jacket after winning the Masters. (Photo courtesy of PGA.com)

Sergio Garcia gets his famous green jacket after winning the Masters. (Photo courtesy of PGA.com)

Sergio Garcia gets his famous green jacket after winning the Masters. (Photo courtesy of PGA.com)

Donald Carlson, Staff Writer

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At long last, Sergio Garcia has a major championship. Sergio Garcia won the Masters on Sunday, shooting a final round 69 and beating out Justin Rose in a one-hole playoff. After many close calls over the years, Sergio washed away his major demons and finally broke through.

Sergio’s burst onto the golf scene in 1999, playing in his first major as a professional in the British Open at Carnoustie. Later that year he hit one of his most memorable shots at the PGA Championship at Medinah, when he swung essentially with his eyes closed and hit an amazing shot from behind a tree.

However, Sergio would  go on to lose the PGA that year by one-stroke to his would-be rival Tiger Woods. That was just the beginning of the heartbreak for Sergio, as he would go on to lose a three-shot lead to Padraig Harrington at the 2007 British Open by missing a putt on the 72nd hole to win. At the 2008 PGA Championship at Oakland Hills, Garcia would again fall just short, blowing a three-shot lead to Harrington yet again.

But this game was different, something about it felt different, Sergio displayed grit and composure that we have not really seen before out of him. After taking an unplayable lie on the 13th hole and facing an almost  inevitable bogey, Sergio saved par and Rose would go on to miss a birdie putt and make par as well.

The tides turned for Garcia after that, and on 18 he would have a putt to win. However, he would miss and it went on to a playoff. He would regroup and go on to birdie the first playoff hole and beat out Rose.

Garcia said he felt “calm” throughout, something he had never felt in his previous final pairings in majors. Something that made it even more special was that the victory came on what would have been one of Garcia’s golfing idols birthday. It was fellow Spaniard and now fellow Masters champion, Seve Ballesteros’s 60th birthday. Garcia’s other golfing idol, another fellow Spaniard and two-time Masters champion, Jose Maria Olazabal, sent Garcia a text prior to the tournament telling Garcia how much he believed in him. Garcia called referred to the message as“special.” What a special performance and what a way to goSergio.

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A Different Sergio