Masters

Nadal heaps praise on compatriot Garcia

2017-04-10 11:26
Sergio Garcia (AP)

Cape Town - Spanish tennis superstar Rafael Nadal has congratulated compatriot Sergio Garcia on winning the Masters - the first golf major of 2017.

Garcia on Sunday captured his first major after 73 failed attempts, making a birdie on the first playoff hole to defeat Justin Rose and win the 81st Masters at Augusta National.

Nadal, who has won 14 major titles in his sport, was quick to congratulate Garcia on Twitter.

Nadal, himself an avid golfer in his free time, said it was a "great effort" from Garcia to win a major, "having tried for many years".

The win saw Garcia become the third Spanish golfer to don the famed Masters Green Jacket after the late Seve Ballesteros (1980 and 1983) and Jose Maria Olazabal (1994 and 1999).

It was an emotional win for the 37-year-old Garcia, coming on what would have been the 60th birthday of his idol Ballesteros, who died from brain cancer in 2011.

Garcia said he felt the presence of Ballesteros help pull him through.

"I'm sure he helped a little bit with some of those shots or some of those putts.”

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