Pollock: Garcia-Rose finale created a Masters classic

Sunday afternoon at the Masters in Augusta, Garcia was two shots behind leader Justin Rose going to the 510-yard par 5 13th hole, and looked to be about to collapse altogether when he bounced his tee shot off a tree and into an azalea bush. Garcia's tentative prod rolled across the face of the hole to gift Rose a one-shot lead with two to play, and Rose then bunkered his second to 17 and splashed out to six feet before the putt for par shaved the edge of the cup and stayed out. When they embraced at the last hole, Rose patted Garcia's chest, calling attention to the heart some doubted would ever be stout enough to win the big one.

Garcia never would have imagined then how long it would take for him to win a major, and he had reason to believe it might never happen. Sergio Garcia said that so often at majors like the Masters you were sure it would be etched into his tombstone someday. A moment of silence was held for him before Nicklaus and Player hit their shots to officially begin the season's first major tournament for the sport. It resulted in a green jacket that most golf fans thought Garcia would have been fitted for much sooner - after the way he burst onto the world golf scene as a precocious 19-year-old contender at Medina back in 1999.

And now that he has started winning majors, Garcia has some confidence he could open the floodgates on claiming a few more. An enthralling final day saw Garcia make the brighter start, with his iron-game in good order as he hit approaches in close at the first and third, and he found himself with a three-shot advantage when Rose took three putts on the fifth green.

A year later, Harrington rallied from three down to Garcia on the back nine and beat him at Oakland Hills in the PGA Championship.

Indeed, everywhere Garcia walked at Hazeltine, he heard chants from the home crowd reminding him of his failure to win a major.

"Chipping and putting kind of went sideways on me", said Fowler, who closed with three straight bogeys for a 76 to tie for 11th, eight shots behind.

"To do it on his (Seve's) 60th birthday and to join him and Olazabal, my two idols in golf my whole life, it's something incredible. It definitely helps", he said.

Diet sodas may be tied to stroke, dementia risk
And Americans have been encouraged to switch to diet drinks. Water is always a good option, doctors agree. The American Beverage Association concurred.

Any talk about Garcia's history before this Masters would have been a tale filled with anguish.

Rose birdied to match Garcia, then birdied the par-3 16th only to bogey and remain deadlocked to set up the closing drama.

Olazabal sent Garcia a message on the eve of the tournament with words of advice and encouragement, as well as a special request for some company in the small Champions' Locker Room at Augusta.

A new major champion graces the cover of Sports Illustrated this week, and it's one that has been a long time coming. It's a putt I've practiced.

"I knew what I was capable of doing and I believed I could do it", Garcia said. He made eagle on the par-5 15th to tie for the lead.

"In the five previous holes I had struck the ball very well".

In 2010, when Phil Mickelson won, and I chose him as the victor, my other four Top 5 selections weren't and I wasn't within a sniff of winning a cent.

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