Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rose Disappointed This Opportunity Slipped by, but He's Happy for Friend

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rose Disappointed This Opportunity Slipped by, but He's Happy for Friend

Article excerpt

AUGUSTA, Ga.

Justin Rose never blinked. Not when he fell behind early to his friend, Sergio Garcia. Not when his European Ryder Cup teammate electrified the crowd with a stunning eagle that conjured memories of another Spaniard who won a green jacket. Not when he bogeyed the 71st hole to set up what has seemingly become commonplace - another dramatic ending at golf's grandest theater.

But he did wince when his 9-foot birdie putt at the final hole of regulation slid mercilessly on the low side of the cup. And he finally did blink when his friend, Sergio Garcia, finally ended one of the longest droughts in golf.

"If I had anyone I had to lose to, it's Sergio," Rose said. "He's had so much heartache out there."

Rose was looking for another major title to go with the U.S. Open he won at Merion in 2013. And he was looking for a green jacket that would mesh well with the gold medal he won at the 2016 Olympics.

Instead, he got another runner-up finish at the Masters, his second in three years. This one, though, was different. In 2015, he finished four shots behind Jordan Spieth's record-tying score. This went to a playoff.

"It was a wonderful battle," Rose said. "He rallied and had a great comeback."

Rose and Garcia are friends. Their hug when it was all over late Sunday afternoon, right there in the fading sunlight on the 18th green, was proof. So was the long embrace Garcia even received from Rose's wife, Kate. They were happy for Garcia, who had won more than 30 times around the world but never in a major championship.

He was 0 for 73 before he finally ended the misery. Only Lee Westwood, who now is 0 for 76, has a longer streak.

Rose was happy for Garcia. He was disappointed, but not devastated, for himself.

"It must have been fun to watch," Rose said. "I felt pretty much in control of my game and the tournament for the most part all day, and Sergio did what he had to do to make a run and I came back at him."

It was, right down to Garcia's unbridled reaction to finally winning a major championship. …

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