Madrid - Spain paid homage to new Masters champion Sergio
Garcia on Monday after he broke his duck on the biggest stage of all to add a
first major to his glittering career.
"Finally!" blared the headline in Madrid sports
daily Marca as for once the football stars of Real Madrid were relegated to the
"Sergio Garcia wins the Masters in Augusta, the major
he has so deserved for the past 18 years."
Garcia on Sunday became the third Spanish player to wear the
famous green jacket after Jose Maria Olazabal and the legendary Seve
Ballesteros, who died in 2011, on what would have been Ballesteros's 60th
"At 37 Sergio broke the curse that lasted nearly two
decades since he was second at the USPGA in a battle with Tiger Woods at
19," Madrid's other sports daily AS said in its online edition.
"Already admired, victory in the 2017 Masters changes
the golfing world’s perceptions of the Spanish player," added El Pais.
Prior to beating out England's Justin Rose in a sudden-death
playoff after a thrilling final round, Garcia had been known for a series of
near-misses at major championships.
As well as losing out to Woods in his prime at the USPGA in
1999, Garcia was runner-up at the 2007 and 2014 Open Championships and the 2008
However, he finally delivered by rolling home a birdie putt
on the first playoff hole.
Many of Spain's other sporting greats joined in the
"Dear friends, I introduce you to the Master champion
in Augusta!! CONGRATULATIONS @TheSergioGarcia," tweeted Spain's World Cup
winning football captain Iker Casillas.
"How great is @TheSergioGarcia, very emotional after so
many years fighting so hard! Many congratulations, what joy!" tweeted
14-time tennis Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal.