AUGUSTA, Ga. – They have played on four European Ryder Cup teams together and from the outset Sunday’s duel at the Masters between Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose was going to be special.
The duo traded the lead throughout a frenzied day at Augusta National, with Garcia taking a three-shot advantage through five holes only to fall two back by the time the twosome reached the 12th tee.
They also showed a genuine appreciation for each other, trading high-fives following the Spaniard’s eagle at the 15th hole and Rose’s birdie at No. 16, and the Englishman shot Garcia a thumbs up after hitting his approach into the 72nd hole.
“We've played a lot of golf together since we were about 14 years old. We've always had a good friendship and a good camaraderie and good rivalry,” Rose said. “It's nice for him now to have that monkey off his back and I was very pleased for him.”
After Garcia rolled in his birdie putt at the first playoff hole for the victory, Rose took a moment to congratulate him.
“It was very nice. We obviously gave each other a big hug and he said, ‘Nobody deserved it more than you do,’” Garcia said. “It was a great battle. He played awesome. I played nicely, too.”