With the sun setting at Augusta, fans were treated to the rarest of finishes as a play-off was needed to separate the two Ryder Cup heroes.
Garcia had the best chance to win on the 18th but he missed a putt from close range, with Rose having already missed from an earlier distance.
The Spaniard dusted himself down and it was his drive that was the superior in the opening hole of the play-off, again the 18th, with Rose's poor shot forcing him to lay-up.
Garcia responded with a wonderful approach onto the green that had the crowd roaring as they sensed it was finally his time. Rose arrived on the green too, but could only post a bogey, leaving the Spaniard two shots to end his major drought.
And the crowd stood as one and let loose a barrage of 'Sergio! Sergio!' as Garcia holed at the first attempt before embracing Rose with a huge smile on his face on the day that would have been Seve Ballesteros' 60th birthday.
Going into Sunday's play it was the two Europeans who were top of the leaderboard with most pundits predicting that the American pairing of Rickie Fowler (-1) and Jordan Spieth (-1) would pressure the top two.
However, that proved not to be the case with Spieth in particular struggling as he went into the water on the 12th for the second year in a row on the Sunday.
Garcia made the early running, with two birdies in the first three roles as Rose maintained his steady pace, eventually catching up as the pair reached the end of the front nine eight under.
As they entered the back nine, Garcia started to crack with back-to-back bogeys as fans covered their eyes, fearing he would let another major slip through his fingers.
As former winner Charl Schwartzel (-6) made a push along with debutant Thomas Pieters (-5), Matt Kuchar (-5) stole the show and got the crowd going with a sensational hole-in-one on the 16.
However, on an emotionally-charged afternoon, Garcia was fired up and not giving up without a fight. He ensured that it would be a two-horse race as he produced an incredible eagle on the 15th to draw level with Rose at nine under.
Rose then moved ahead once again as he held his nerve when putting on the 16th, before going into the sand on the next - with his bogey and Garcia's missed birdie put meaning the duo were level going into the last.
Both hit excellent tee shorts before Rose got a great break with his approach setting up a birdie opportunity.
However, Garcia responded with an even better shot to get closer to the pin and launch the pressure right back on Rose.
Rose missed his putt to set up a chance of victory for Garcia, but the Spaniard could not hold his nerve and the pair went to a play-off, the first between Europeans at The Masters.
Back on the 18th for the play-off, Rose's tee forced him to punch onto the fairway which presented a huge opportunity to Garcia, one that he took thanks to some solid play combined with Rose's mistake.
It was an emotional moment as Garcia finally lifted the major that he has been fighting for over the years.
Read the original article on Eurosport: Garcia wins The Masters with dramatic play-off victory over Rose