The Masters: Nicklaus, Nadal, Figo, Phelps weigh in with Garcia tributes

Sergio Garcia of Spain celebrates after defeating Justin Rose of England on the first playoff hole during the final round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club

After seeing an early three-shot lead wiped out by Rose's hat-trick of birdies from the sixth, Garcia bogeyed the 10th and 11th and looked certain to drop another shot following a wayward drive on the 13th.

"We'd probably have a little glass of wine together", said Garcia, the third Spaniard to win at Augusta, following Ballesteros's breakthrough win for Europe in 1980 and again in 1983 and Jose Maria Olazabal's victories in 1994 and 1999.

His most infamous loss was at the 2007 Open Championship.

The Northern Irish golfer has four majors to his name, but lusts after the Masters, a tournament which he came so close to conquering in 2011, but which instead conquered him.

Meanwhile, Garcia commenced his play with an impressive hit nearly 300 yards down the fairway.

"I don't think so".

"Sergio Garcia makes history at the Masters, winning the green jacket", Rajoy wrote.

"I hit the putt exactly where I wanted".

Asked about his previous comments about the course, Garcia told a media conference: "I don't know".

Over the years, Garcia sometimes didn't sound like a man who would ever utter this, but Sunday night he suggested if a major championship never came his way, "my life would go on, it would not be a disaster".

"To do it on Seve's 60th birthday and to join him and [Jose Maria] Olazabal, my two idols in golf, it's something unbelievable".

"If love is what you got", the first verse ends, "you got a lot".

"It was a wonderful battle with Sergio", said Rose, now runner-up in the Masters twice in three years. He deserves it, he's had his fair share of heartache.

"The positive thing is I still feel I have so much room for improvement". Other than that I had it won.

After his challenge combusted at this tournament five years ago, he said: "I don't have the thing I need to have".

"I've had so many good chances and either I lost them or someone has done something extraordinary to beat me".

While Garcia and Rose are longtime friends, and even Ryder Cup teammates, the duo could not have a more opposite approach in their games. And then to play the two shots he did on the play-off hole, they were struck perfectly.

He missed this one, too, and headed into a playoff against Rose, only this time he didn't lose hope. This struggle was quickly overcome with outstanding performances on the 14th and 15th hole, including an eagle on fifteen, tying Garcia with Rose as they went into the final three holes. Rose was poised to deliver a knockout on the par-5 13th when Garcia went left beyond the creek and into the bush.

In his 74th attempt, Garcia produced an impressive showing, staging a remarkable comeback during the closing phases of his duel with Rose.

The Spaniard' shook himself off and it was his drive that was the superior off the tee in the first hole of the play-off and Rose's poor shot forced him to layup.