Sergio Garcia breaks major duck, claiming Masters title following thrilling duel with Justin Rose

After so many near misses, and after admitting that he feared his time would never come, Sergio Garcia is finally a major champion. 

The 37-year-old Spaniard had 30 professional wins to his name heading to Augusta, and he had been a huge part in many of Europe's recent Ryder Cup triumphs, yet there was always one thing missing from his CV.

One of the most popular players on the tour now has the title everyone dreams of, becoming 2017 Masters champion following a thrilling duel with close friend Justin Rose

Heading into the final round as the joint leaders, the European duo were playing alongside one another in the final pairing and as they headed down the back nine it became apparent that they would be battling for the Green Jacket after their rivals had all fallen at the wayside. 

Rose & Garcia produced a thrilling duel on Masters Sunday (image source: Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Garcia missed a makeable putt on the 18th green to set up the sudden-death playoff, and after Rose's tee shot forced him to lay up, the Spaniard took advantage by making a birdie to Rose's bogey to bring his streak of 73 major competition's without victory.

Rivals make early mistakes to leave final pairing in driving seat

Garcia and Rose each made strong starts to their final rounds, putting the pressure on the chasing pack who each failed to keep up with the European duo. 

Rickie Fowler, who like Garcia was attempting to win his first major, struggled with his iron play which scuppered his chances of picking up shots to cut the gap to the top two. The Oklahoma State University alum was four-over par on the final day's play to finish tied for 11th alongside his playing partner and 2015 champion on this course, Jordan Spieth

Spieth, who's meltdown over the back nine last year allowed Danny Willett to steal in and grab his first major, had three bogeys on the front nine in 2017, before hitting his ball into Rae's Creek from the 12th tee for the second year running to completely end his slim hopes. 

The biggest threats to Garcia and Rose turned out to be a trio of players who were each more than three shots behind at the start of the day.

Thomas Pieters takes the applause of the Augusta crowd (image source: Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

2010 champion Charl Schwartzel eventually finished third following a round of 68 on Sunday to finish on -6, three shots behind the leading duo, with Belgium's Thomas Pieters finishing a further shot back for a share of fourth place. 

Matt Kuchar stormed up the field to also finish on -5 meaning he was the leading American, with a hole-in-one on the 16th hole the highlight of his round. 

Garcia holds his nerve to win Green Jacket

After picking up birdies on holes six, seven and eight, Rose was starting to fire, and after a number of errant drives from his playing partner, the Englishman had a two-shot lead heading into the final five holes. 

Garcia was in desperate need of a turning point, and that came at the 15th when his iron shot was played to perfection, hitting the flag and setting up an eagle putt which he nailed to jump back into a share of the lead. 

Rose then birdied 16 to move ahead once more before bogeying 17 to fall back level with Garcia who parred both holes to set up a shootout going up the 18th.

After both players produced exquisite second shots, the 2013 US Open champion Rose was first to take his birdie putt and after it fell agonisingly wide of the hole, Garcia had his chance at glory.

It wasn't to be though, and the man who had come so close many times before must have feared he would be the bridesmaid once more, as his birdie putt missed to set up the playoff.

Garcia celebrates the winning moment (image source: Harry How/Getty Images)

That wasn't the case though, and after Rose's mistake from the tee, Garcia took full advantage to end year's of hurt, and secure himself a first major title.