After 74 attempts at winning a major golf tournament, Sergio Garcia finally broke through his mental barriers and won the biggest event of them all: The Masters. To don the green jacket was something that at one time seemed like an absolute certainty, but over time his star faded and he was labeled as a “choker” instead of a golfing great. Though he had moments that made fans shake their heads in sheer disbelief last weekend, he had many moments that made them jump for joy as well, and in the end it was those moments that prevailed.
Believe it or not, when the 37 year old Garcia was young he was assumed to be the European answer to Tiger Woods. His talent never quite took the next step, though, and he quickly fell by the wayside as other golfers put their tools together to further grow their stars while Garcia’s dimmed. García was finally able to put it all together, and after trading the lead back and forth with Justin Rose all day he finally wrestled it away when he needed to, on the first playoff hole after finishing tied with Rose after 72 holes.
Ignoring the fact that he went on to win the green jacket anyways, Garcia had crumbled on a few occasions on Sunday anyways, and he was lucky Rose never capitalized and wrestled the lead away for good. Leading up to the playoff hole, Garcia could’ve avoided it entirely if he had just made a 4 foot putt to win the
Masters, but he ran it along the edge of the cup and was forced o play another hole. After Rose’s tee shot found the bushes lining the fairway on the 73rd hole, Garcia only needed to make par to win the hole. It was on the lengthy birdie putt that he put the match away, burying it when he only
needed a two-putt to win. Rose and Garcia are buddies as well and were often seen congratulating one another after holes and joking back and forth. In all honesty, it was a bit odd watching two competitors getting along so well while golfs biggest championship hung in the balance.
Either way, Garcia capitalized on the shots that he needed to and mitigated the disasters that were awaiting him on many holes on the back 9 on Sunday. It’s a shame world number one Dustin Johnson was forced to pull out after taking a spill in his rental home near Augusta. He tried to tee off with his group on
Thursday but his back was too tight and he walked off of the tee box. Who knows, maybe the big hitting Johnson could have made the Masters even more interesting, but I’m guessing most fans were just fine with how everything played out.
Next up, the US Open that will be played at Erin Hills in Wisconsin. It’s not a far drive, only about 40 minutes from Milwaukee, and fans will have the opportunity to watch Johnson come back and try to take back the spotlight from Garcia.