Sergio Garcia is no longer the best golfer never to have won a major title, after his Masters playoff victory over Brit Justin Rose at Augusta. We run the rule over the 37-year-old Spaniard.
1) Destiny. Sergio was born into a golf family...his mother Consuelo's waters broke in the golf pro shop she helped run prior to his birth.
2) Sergio has always been coached by his father Victor, a battling European tour player in his day. Sergio got his first set of clubs aged three, and broke 80 at the age of 10. His brother and sister are also excellent golfers, and they competed against each other as kids.
3) Garcia was seen as a loser of sorts despite having won 30 tournaments, being ranked as high as number two, and often finishing seasons in the top 10. He was also an outstanding Ryder Cup player, particularly in the team disciplines rather than singles. But Garcia wasn't meeting the very high expectations placed on him from early in his career, namely that he would win many Majors. He played 73 without victory, often falling just short. The biggest heartbreak was probably losing a 2007 British Open playoff to Padraig Harrington,
a player he has had a few spats with.
4) Talking about feuds - Garcia and Tiger Woods had something going on in that department, from way back. Once, when Garcia played in all-yellow, Tiger told a friend; "I just bludgeoned Tweety Bird." Nice line. Garcia accused Tiger of pulling out a club just as he was about to swing during the prestigious Players' Championship, and liked to call out Woods on his poor Ryder Cup record. He even dropped a racially offensive "Fried Chicken" comment about Woods. Woods tweet congratulations this week though.
5) As Forbes highlighted, Garcia was the richest player never to have won a Major title until this week. He is now the sixth highest golf earner with $66.5m. (Steve Stricker, with $61.2m, is the biggest earner without a major).
6) His fiancee is Texan Angela Akins, who featured prominently on the TV coverage as he headed towards Masters victory. Her father Marty and grandfather are famous college football figures. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is her cousin. Akins, a top high school golfer, is a journalist who works for the Golf Channel.
7) Garcia said his future wife and father-in-law are influences.
"Marty is a very, very positive, very, you know, outspoken and very, very confident kind of guy, and it definitely helps when he's encouraging you and things like that. Angela is the same way. They are all very competitive. They are positive things."
8) The Spaniard is widely regarded as golf's best ball striker, with a unique swing in which he holds his wrist angle until very late. Some analysts say the key to his art is the speed of the body turn. Garcia re-designed his swing as a 22-year-old, to limit the damage done on his off days.
9) Garcia climbed a tree to play a shot at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida, successfully hitting the ball one-handed but injuring his shoulder in the process. His stunned playing partner William McGirt said: ""He called for a club. He's hugging the tree. And the ball comes flying out."
10) Garcia's nickname is El Nino - 'The Kid". But he didn't really like it when he was young.
"I've been called 'El Nino' since I was 14. It doesn't really bother me but wouldn't it be more normal to call me Sergio?", he said in his first year a pro.
11) He is a football lover who helps run his hometown club Borriol in Castellon, on the east coast of Spain. He has even played for them now and then. Garcia is a Real Madrid fan, and has a club head cover with their insignia on it. Wikipedia lists Garcia as the only notable person from Borriol, population 5000.
12) Early in his career, Garcia said fishing helped him relax for golf. He loves football and tennis. Since 2008, poker has been a major hobby. "Just as in golf you need a lot of patience in tournaments. You have to be able to fold a lot of hands, even good ones if necessary," he said.
13) He had former girlfriend Katharina Boehm, a terrific golfer, on his bag for a tournament in Thailand, and won."I wanted to keep going, but she fired me," Garcia said afterwards. South African Glen Murray has been Garcia's caddie for most of his career, although the Spaniard tried a batch of others around 2014.