2017 Masters Tournament: Sergio Wins a Major (Finally)

Sergio Garcia lets out a celebratory yell after winning the 2017 Masters
Sergio Garcia after the final putt of the 2017 Masters: So this is what it feels like to win a major ... Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Shaking off previous disappointments in majors, the baggage of being "the best golfer without a major," and a mid-back-nine slump, Sergio Garcia won the 2017 Masters Tournament in a playoff over Justin Rose.

Quick Bits

  • Winner: Sergio Garcia, 279
  • Dates: April 6-9, 2017
  • Golf course: Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga.
  • Tournament number: This was the 81st playing of The Masters.

How Sergio Garcia Won the 2017 Masters

When the final round began, Garcia and Rose were the co-leaders at 6-under.

Rickie Fowler was alone in third at 5-under paired for the final round with Jordan Spieth, who was tied for third at 4-under.

Based on Spieth's play in the previous two rounds - he looked great shooting 69-68 - many expected him to wind up the winner. Instead, he wound up shooting 75 and finishing in a tie for 11th place. Spieth had more bogeys than birdies in the final round, plus, for the second year in a row in the final round, Spieth found water on the par-3 12th. This time, he made double bogey there.

Garcia started the final round with a birdie and added another on the third hole. After bogeying the fifth, Rose reeled off consecutive birdies on holes 5-8. Rose then parred every hole from nine through 14.

Garcia, however, ran into trouble in that stretch. And fans probably had some doubts about a golfer who, in the past, appeared to think of himself as either snakebit in majors, or fated not to win one.

He bogeyed the 10th and 11th holes.

And when Garcia's drive on the 13th dived left, across the hazard into an unplayable lie against the base of an azalea bush, it appeared Garcia's hopes were once again dashed. Instead, he pulled off a fantastic par save on the hole.

Then Garcia birdied the 14th. And when Garcia eagled No.

15 - and Rose birdied it - they were once again tied for the lead, and several strokes in front of the field. The back nine of the final round was mostly a two-man game between Rose and Garcia.

Rose birdied No. 16 and Garcia missed a short putt there, putting Rose one up. But Rose gave that stroke back with a bogey on No. 17, and the duo reached the 72nd hole tied.

Both had birdie putts, both missed, first Rose, then Garcia. So they went into a sudden-death playoff, starting with a replay of No. 18. And Rose was in trouble the entire hole, first losing his drive right into the trees and pine straw. His path to the hole blocked by a large magnolia tree, Rose tried punching the ball under the branches. But he advanced the ball barely past Garcia's drive.

Garcia hit a terrific approach to the green, and when Rose holed out for a bogey 5, Garcia had two putts to win. He needed only one, rolling in the birdie putt for the 2017 green jacket and his first win in one of golf's majors.

This was the 70th major Garcia had played in as a pro, and that's the record for most majors played before winning your first.

Here's a fun piece of trivia: Garcia was the first golfer to win a major using the claw putting grip.

The 2017 Masters was also significant for who wasn't there: Arnold Palmer. Palmer passed away the previous September, and it was the first Masters without Palmer's presence - as a player, an honorary starter, a Par-3 Contest participant or Champions Dinner attendee - since 1954.

2017 Masters Tournament Scores

Results from the 2017 Masters golf tournament played April 6-9 at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. (x-won playoff; a-amateur):

x-Sergio Garcia71-69-70-69--279$1,980,000
Justin Rose71-72-67-69--279$1,188,000
Charl Schwartzel74-72-68-68--282$748,000
Matt Kuchar72-73-71-67--283$484,000
Thomas Pieters72-68-75-68--283$484,000
Paul Casey72-75-69-68--284$396,000
Kevin Chappell71-76-70-68--285$354,750
Rory McIlroy72-73-71-69--285$354,750
Ryan Moore74-69-69-74--286$308,000
Adam Scott75-69-69-73--286$308,000
Rickie Fowler73-67-71-76--287$233,200
Russell Henley71-76-71-69--287$233,200
Brooks Koepka74-73-71-69--287$233,200
Hideki Matsuyama76-70-74-67--287$233,200
Jordan Spieth75-69-68-75--287$233,200
Martin Kaymer78-68-74-68--288$181,500
Steve Stricker75-73-72-68--288$181,500
Fred Couples73-70-74-72--289$148,500
Pat Perez74-74-70-71--289$148,500
Jimmy Walker76-71-70-72--289$148,500
Lee Westwood70-77-68-74--289$148,500
Jason Day74-76-69-71--290$105,600
Charley Hoffman65-75-72-78--290$105,600
William McGirt69-73-74-74--290$105,600
Phil Mickelson71-73-74-72--290$105,600
Justin Thomas73-76-71-70--290$105,600
Daniel Berger77-73-72-69--291$78,100
Branden Grace76-74-71-70--291$78,100
Jon Rahm73-70-73-75--291$78,100
Brandt Snedeker75-74-69-73--291$78,100
Brendan Steele74-73-75-69--291$78,100
Matthew Fitzpatrick71-78-73-70--292$68,200
Byeong-Hun An76-73-74-70--293$62,150
Jason Dufner71-76-70-76--293$62,150
Francesco Molinari78-72-71-72--293$62,150
Bill Haas75-72-71-76--294$52,938
Adam Hadwin75-74-75-70--294$52,938
a-Stewart Hagestad74-73-74-73--294 
Soren Kjeldsen72-73-71-78--294$52,938
Brian Stuard77-70-74-73--294$52,938
Ross Fisher76-74-74-71--295$46,200
Louis Oosthuizen77-71-76-71--295$46,200
Kevin Kisner74-75-74-73--296$40,700
Marc Leishman73-74-78-71--296$40,700
Bernd Wiesberger77-72-76-71--296$40,700
a-Curtis Luck78-72-75-72--297 
Daniel Summerhays74-75-75-73--297$36,300
James Hahn75-75-75-73--298$33,000
Andy Sullivan71-78-76-73--298$33,000
J.B. Holmes78-72-73-76--299$30,140
Emiliano Grillo79-70-73-78--300$28,600
Larry Mize74-76-79-76--305$27,720
Ernie Els72-75-83-78--308$27,060

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