10 Apr 2017

Garcia overcomes two decades of heartache

2:12 pm on 10 April 2017

The Spanish golfer Sergio Garcia has ended nearly 20 years of major disappointment, in beating England's Justin Rose in a playoff to win the U.S. Masters.

After teeing off in 73 majors and enduring four heartbreaking runner-up finishes and years of self doubt, finally claimed his maiden-major title when his 12-foot birdie putt at the first extra hole dropped into the cup at the par-four 18th, triggering a massive cheer from a gallery that had been on the edge of their seats.

Sergio Garcia celebrates winning the U.S. Masters.

Sergio Garcia celebrates winning the U.S. Masters. Photo: Supplied: Augusta National

Donning the Green Jacket on what would have been the 60th birthday of his hero, the late Seve Ballesteros,

Garcia says when he was younger he always thought he'd win at Augusta.

Ballesteros, the Spanish talisman who died of brain cancer in 2011, inspired a generation of golfers in his country, winning Green Jacket twice in 1980 and 1983.

Garcia becomes the third Spaniard to wear the Green Jacket, joining Jose Maria Olazabal, who also triumphed twice at Augusta, in 1994 and 1999.

Sergio Garcia is presented with his Green Jacket.

Sergio Garcia is presented with his Green Jacket. Photo: Supplied: Augusta National

"It is amazing. To do it on his (Ballesteros's) 60th birthday and to join him and Jose Maria Olazabal, my two idols in golf, it is something amazing," said Garcia before accepting the Green Jacket from last year's winner Danny Willett in Butler Cabin.

"Jose Maria texted on Thursday saying how much he believed in me and to believe in myself.

"Everybody has been great. My whole family, my fiance."

Garcia, who has been plagued by self doubt when it came to majors, once said he did not have what it takes to be a major champion but demonstrated on Sunday during an enthralling rollercoaster battle with Rose that he does indeed possess the tools, demeanour and determination of a champion.