04.09.17 | Kevin W.
What a Sunday it was at Augusta National. The day started with a top-heavy leaderboard filled with stars but it became clear by the back nine that this year's green jacket belonged, as it so often does, to the last group. Sergio Garcia seeking his first major in 76 starts fell behind his playing partner Justin Rose early but was able to meet him again at -9 after picking up an eagle on 15.
On 16 after both players hit great tee shots into the par-3, Rose was able to birdie moving to -10 with two holes to go. Sixteen was the hole to be at today as earlier it saw a wonderful hole-in-one from Matt Kuchar.
Heading to seventeen one back Sergio found the center of the fairway and about 150 yards from the pin his shot landed about 31 feet from the hole. Rose found the rough on the right side of the fairway and 180 yards away from the hole he put it in the front right bunker. He hit an excellent bunker shot leaving him with only seven feet for par. Sergio made a par and Rose made a bogey bring the two back to even at -9 with one hole remaining.
The drives on 18 were nothing too special, but the second shots were amazing. Rose hit first landing his ball on the right side it then rolled over to the left side only seven feet from the hole. Sergio now with all the pressure on him hit his shot to five feet. Rose putted first and it just stayed rolling past on the edge, Rose would make par. Sergio with only five feet put the ball out to right just enough so that did not fall. The putt was honestly dead straight, probably the worse miss of his life.
Back on the tee at 18 this time the result was much different. Rose put his shot up in the pine straw on the right side, he got incredibly lucky with this shot as it almost came out into the rough. He was though blocked out the by a low hanging Magnolia branch. Sergio was on the right side of the fairway with 150 yards left. Rose was forced by the tree to punch out with only moderate success advancing his ball up to Sergio's drive. Both then put their balls out to the right of the flag, Sergio was the closest at 12 feet. Rose barely missed the cup, and tapped in for a bogey setting the stage for Sergio. Sergio now could two-putt and still capture a jacket. The putt he sent off graciously fell in the back of the hole. It was a great win for Sergio who first visited Augusta in 1999 and captured the low amateur title he has now come full circle.
The Young Americans
Rickie and Jordan struggled mightily this Sunday both falling out of the top-ten to finish -1 at T-11. Spieth was once again thrown off by number 12 a hole that all week he made par this Sunday he doubled. Fowler didn't have one hole that defined the day, but his 76 was certainly not how he envisioned the day going.
The 455 yard par-4 was the site of a lot of action at the start of today's broadcast. First off Russell Henley had a slam dunk eagle which was great to see as he was the last player to receive an invitation. It was also the first eagle at the hole since 2003. The real excitement though came in the shot's aftermath. Henley's shot damaged the cup which forced the grounds crew to make TV appearance. Lead by Senior Assistant Brent Seyer the crew was able to replace the hole perfectly and without any issue. The coverage by CBS was great and received positively by many.