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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 236
That lipped-out putt at the final hole that would have netted him the 2007 Open, after he led by three going into Sunday; the double-drink debacle at the 17th hole at the 2013 PLAYERS; playing in the final group with Tiger Woods at the 2002 US Open but being unable to get close in front of a hostile crowd; his fourth runner-up result at the 2014 Open, where he loomed on day four but couldn’t close down Rory McIlroy. Too often has Sergio found himself with one hand on a trophy, only to shove it away from himself in painful fashion. He had plenty of chances to falter yet again on Sunday at Augusta, too, finding the pine straw at times on the back nine, taking a penalty at the 13th for an unplayable lie before rallying to make par, and then missing a putt on 18 in regulation play that would have ended things without necessitating the playoff. But as is so often the case in sporting fairytales, for some inexplicable reason, Garcia’s time had finally come. “I felt the calmest I’ve ever felt on a major Sunday,” Garcia said in the aftermath, having finally banished the tag of crumbling hothead that for so long has dogged him. “Even after making a couple of bogeys, I was still positive. I still believed there were a couple of holes I could get to.” It’s difficult to call Garcia an underachiever, though there’s an argument to be made that on the major stage, that’s exactly what he is. This is, after all, a man who’s won 10 times on the PGA Tour, 13 times in Europe, five times in Asia and has now finished in the top 10 at majors 23 times. But from someone who served it right up to Tiger Woods at the 1999 Masters as a 19-year- old, 18 years later we (and he) expected more than one major from his 73 attempts. The 2017 Masters was Garcia’s first major win on what would have been mentor Seve Ballesteros’ 60th birthday. Based on his previous fortunes there’s every chance it could be his last. But that won’t bother him. No one can ever take that green jacket away from him. E “I FELT THE CALMEST I’VE EVER FELT ON A MAJOR SUNDAY... EVEN AFTER MAKING A COUPLE OF BOGEYS, I WAS STILL POSITIVE. I STILL BELIEVED THERE WERE A COUPLE OF HOLES I COULD GET TO.”
GA Express 235
GA Express 237