Garcia wins 81st Masters in playoff

Sergio Garcia won a sudden-death playoff Sunday against Justin Rose to decide the 81st Masters Tournament.

It is the first major championship for the Spaniard, and it comes on a special day: Sunday would have been the 60th birthday of the late Seve Ballesteros, a two-time Masters champion.

Both Garcia and Rose shot 3-under-par 69s to finish regulation tied at 9-under-par at Augusta National Golf Club. Both had short birdie putts at the final hole to win outright, but both missed.

The playoff began on the 18th hole. Rose went first, and pushed his tee shot right. It wound up in the pine straw, and he had to pitch out since his second shot to the green was blocked by trees.

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Garcia safely hit the green, and Rose hit his third shot on.

Putting first, Rose missed his par putt and tapped in for bogey. Garcia had two putts to win outright, and he made the birdie putt for the victory.

Rose began the day tied with Garcia, but he trailed the Spaniard by three shots after five holes.

But Rose battled back, making three birdies in a row at Nos. 6-8, to catch Garcia. The two went to the final nine tied for the lead.

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Garcia made consecutive bogeys at Nos. 10 and 11 to fall two back.

Then the fun began. Garcia made an improbable par at the 13th after taking a penalty drop, and Rose three-putted for par.

Garcia birdied the 14th to cut the deficit to one. At 15, Rose made birdie but Garcia made eagle to tie for the lead.

Both players hit it close at the par-3 16th, but Rose rolled in his birdie putt and Garcia missed. But Rose bogeyed 17, leaving the two tied with one hole to play.

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2011 Masters winner Charl Schwartzel birdied the 18th to finish at 6-under, good for solo third.

Matt Kuchar and Thomas Pieters tied for fourth at 5-under. Kuchar made a hole-in-one at 16 to highlight his round of 67.

The pairing of 2015 Masters winner Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler fizzled. Spieth struggled to 3-over 75, matching his worst round at Augusta National, and once again found the water with his tee shot at the 12th and made double bogey. A year ago, with a big lead, Spieth hit two balls into Rae’s Creek and took a quadruple bogey 7.

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Fowler made an early birdie, but struggled to avoid bogeys and finished with 4-over 76.

U.S. Mid-Amateur winner Stewart Hagestad shot 1-over 73 to claim low amateur honors.

1980: Seve Ballesteros becomes youngest Masters champ
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