Augusta - England's Justin Rose admitted on Sunday that
losing the Masters in a playoff had been hard, but losing to old friend Sergio
Garcia made it less painful.
The 36-year-old Olympic gold medallist and former US Open
champion said he had first played Garcia when they were teenagers and they have
been close friends ever since.
"We've played a lot of golf together since we were
about 14 years old," he said. "We've always had a good friendship and
a good camaraderie and good rivalry."
But while he has broken through into the ranks of major
winners with his 2013 US Open win, and went on to claim last year's Olympic
title, Garcia had failed in 73 attempts before Sunday to win a major title.
"It must be hard, as well, for guys when they are
striving to win majors and they are seeing their peers pick them off and they
are kind of being left behind," he said. "It's nice for him now to
have that monkey off his back and I was very pleased for him."
He said that the defeat at the Masters for the second time
following his second place in 2015, would continue to hurt, but he would now
turn his attention to the three majors coming up later this year: the US Open,
the British Open and the PGA Championship. He was also looking forward to more
attempts to win the Masters.
"It's going to sting for sure," he said. "But
you know, I really feel like this is a tournament that I can still go on to
win," he said. "I'd like to win three or four green jackets, but one
would be enough, you know. I just want to win here."