Sergio García has ended decades of disappointment on Sunday by lifting the US Masters.
The 37-year-old Spaniard beat England’s Justin Rose in a playoff to claim the title after a thrilling playoff.
Tied after nine holes, the two friends and Ryder Cup team-mates produced a sensational showdown on the back nine.
García lifted the prize when his 12-foot birdie at the first extra hole dropped into the cup at the par-four 18th, sparking rapturous chanting from the crowd.
After 73 majors, four heartbreaking runner-up finishes and years of self-doubt, García finally donned the winner’s Green Jacket on what would have been the 60th birthday of his hero, the late Seve Ballesteros.
Many around the world have shown their appreciation for the Spaniard’s feat, including many others sports stars.
TheSergioGarcia</a> always had it in him to win a major and I'm so happy for this bloke that he finally opened that door for many more to come👏 <a href="https://t.co/Zm9fk0Xsyw">pic.twitter.com/Zm9fk0Xsyw</a></p>— Allan Donald (AllanDonald33) April 10, 2017
2016 Masters champion Danny Willet congratulated Garcia, after awarding him with his new green jacket, as is tradition.
Great battle out there between 2 champions— Danny Willett (@Danny_Willett) April 10, 2017
TheSergioGarcia</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/JustinRose99">JustinRose99
Congrats El Niño 🇪🇸Vamos!!!! #themasters pic.twitter.com/71PKouh9xV
Another British golfer, Justin Rose, who Garcia beat in the final playoff congratulated his former foe:
TheSergioGarcia</a> <br>Incredible battle out there. Sport in the moment can be tough. But it's just sport. Hope you guys enjoyed it. <a href="https://t.co/er7OzrdTgA">pic.twitter.com/er7OzrdTgA</a></p>— Justin Rose (JustinRose99) April 10, 2017
Former England and Lions rugby player Will Greenwood shared his mixed feelings:
If ever you lose a bet on
JustinRose99</a> and the winner is <a href="https://twitter.com/TheSergioGarcia">TheSergioGarcia – then this is how you feel…
TheMasters</a> - chuffed for Sergio <a href="https://t.co/cCUq1WdKgc">pic.twitter.com/cCUq1WdKgc</a></p>— Will Greenwood (WillGreenwood) April 10, 2017
Another rugby player, current England centre Brad Barritt said there was “nothing better” than seeing Garcia win:
Nothing better, than the man written off, persisting, fighting and defying all on his way to success!…
TheSergioGarcia</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Masters?src=hash">#Masters</a></p>— Brad Barritt (bradbarritt) April 10, 2017
Former footballer and golf fan Gary Linekar said this:
Hes only gone and done it…. At last. Well played Sergio.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) April 9, 2017
Golfing journalists were also quick to give tribute to the new champion:
It's early on Monday morning, and I'm just coming to terms with the cool new world we live in with
TheSergioGarcia</a> as a major winner <a href="https://t.co/MRpqzRP36j">pic.twitter.com/MRpqzRP36j</a></p>— Ryan Herrington (GWcampusinsider) April 10, 2017
THAT IS A WIN! A MAJOR WIN! FOR ME, SERGIOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!— Dan Jenkins (@danjenkinsgd) April 9, 2017
Even Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy took to Twitter to congratulate his compatriot:
.— Mariano Rajoy Brey (@marianorajoy) April 10, 2017
TheSergioGarcia</a> hace historia en el <a href="https://twitter.com/AUG_Masters">AUG_Masters #TheMasters, conquistando la chaqueta verde. ¡Tremendo! Orgulloso del deporte español MR pic.twitter.com/xZBSDlwzFf
“Sergio Garcia makes history at The Masters, conquering the Green Jacket. Tremendous! I’m proud of Spanish sport”