Borges: Masters leader Sergio Garcia no longer ‘the best actor never to win a major’

AUGUSTA, Ga. — It didn’t come easy since zero ever has during Augusta National for Sergio Garcia, yet it came during final yesterday dusk on a 73rd hole of a 81st Masters. Redemption. Resurrection. Victory over himself some-more than over a foe.


Since he initial detonate onto a golf universe as a bounding, spreading 19-year-old leaping like a tan and sprinting down a fairway perplexing to run down a Tiger named Woods during a 1999 PGA Championship, García always has come adult usually short. Short of other peoples’ expectations. Short of his possess expectations. Short of a prolonged shade of his boyhood idols in Spain, Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal, who both won immature jackets mixed times and speedy him to do a same.

He was 0-for-73 in majors and so owners of a pretension nobody in golf wants yet a series of loyal greats had to wear. He was “the best actor never to win a major.”

No longer.

In what became a 19-hole, match-play conflict with his crony and Ryder Cup teammate Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia’s impulse finally arrived on a biggest golf march in a world. It felt right and usually when it did.

Actually it came several times during a march of a prolonged day of heightened pressure, blown leads, comebacks, a missed putt to win and then, during last, a bark he suspicion he’d never hear. It came and afterwards it went and it came and went a second time on a 72nd hole, as many people who had seen him destroy before expected.

Just 10 years ago, he’d lipped out a putt on a final hole during Carnoustie, costing himself a British Open. Yesterday, he sent a winning putt right by a hole on 18, a refusal to mangle left as it had all week a derisive idea it was never going to occur for him.

And then, it did. He and Rose stood curled and mentally tired during 9-under-par 279. They would have to walk behind to a tee on 18 and repeat what they’d usually done. Do it until somebody snapped or a moon rose high adequate to make them lapse today.

This time it took one hole and it was not Garcia who buckled. It was Rose. His expostulate went proceed right, took a propitious rebound into a hunger straw yet left him with no second shot. He punched out and hoped for a best.

That’s what Garcia gave him, ripping his expostulate and afterwards knocking his proceed shot to within 10 feet of a pin. Rose attempted to vigour Garcia one final time, as he’d finished for dual days, yet he was left with too prolonged a putt for standard and missed, definition Garcia had dual chances from 10 feet to win his initial Masters in 19 tries.

He indispensable usually one before a immature tan a universe had depressed in adore with scarcely 20 years ago yet who had seemed to blur divided after years of disappointment, was back. That 10-footer fell and Sergio García was that gaseous child again, happy and using free.

“It’s been such a prolonged time coming,” Garcia pronounced moments after he buried that final putt for birdie.

When a throng erupted with chants of “Sergio! Sergio!” as if a contest had been played in Madrid, he squatted, fists doubled adult and hollered before station and floating kisses to a throng on a same march he once pronounced he hated.

Soon he was in a arms of a lady he credits with giving him a some-more certain opinion on life and golf, his fiancee Angela Akins. To a side stood Rose, eminent in improved and a design of sportsmanship.

“I felt we was in finish control yet it wasn’t enough,” Rose after lamented. “If there’s anyone to remove to it’s Sergio. He’s had his share of heartbreak.

“He rallied and had a good comeback. That standard on 13, birdie on 14 and eagle on 15 put him behind into a tournament. Other than that we had it won.”

No one does during Augusta though, until a coupler is on your back.

“The standard on 13 was big,” Garcia said. “I had missed some putts and began jealous my reads. Under a gun, with a vigour and everything, it’s not easy to do. That gave me a lot of belief.

“This (was a) proof of my impression and my mentality. How certain we stayed even when things weren’t going good on 10 and 11. Even on 13”

His eagle on 15 was scarcely a double eagle when his second shot came within an in. or dual of a hole. He buried his putt and after carrying birdied 14 he’d evened a compare yet immediately gave a cadence behind on 16 when Rose birdied and he missed his putt.

They topsy-turvy that on 17 and afterwards both missed intensity winning putts on 18 that refused to mangle left, that reminded them of what Bubba Watson pronounced Friday after unwell to make a cut. “Golf is hard,” Watson forked out and both were reminded usually how tough — and vicious — it can be.

Each had once hold a lead, afterwards mislaid it. Each had done implausible shots to stay alive underneath a kind of vigour that can warp a man’s mind.

Now all they had to do on a 72nd hole was make a putt to mangle that tie. They missed.

So they sealed their cards and gathering behind to a 18th tee to do it again. They’d begun a day during 6-under and usually as tied. So who had played badly? Neither of them, frankly.

But this time, during last, Sergio Garcia played 1 cadence better.

“Now they can call me a best actor who has usually won one major,” Garcia pronounced with a far-reaching giggle and a prolonged laugh.

It was a title, like a immature coupler he was wearing when he pronounced it, he was happy to accept.


Do you have an unusual story to tell? E-mail stories@tutuz.com