Garcia proud of acceptance of Augusta challenge

After ending his wait for a major, Masters champion Sergio Garcia has been named European Tour Golfer of the Year.

Garcia named European Tour Golfer of the Year

After ending his wait for a major, Masters champion Sergio Garcia has been named European Tour Golfer of the Year.

Sergio Garcia says an acceptance of the challenge Augusta provides was key to his triumph at the Masters, having previously criticised the golf course during his major drought.

Garcia won his first major at the 74th attempt on Sunday, beating Justin Rose in a play-off to claim an emotional victory on what would have been his idol Seve Ballesteros' 60th birthday.

The jubilant scenes at the end were a far cry from 2009, when Garcia described the Augusta course as "a guessing game".

But the Spaniard has softened on his stance towards Augusta, and he feels that more relaxed attitude helped him finally win a major having previously finished in the top 10 22 times.

Asked about his previous comments about the course, Garcia told a media conference: "I don't know. It was just a lot of things going on through my mind. Obviously my people, everybody that supported me, my sponsors, my moments that unfortunately it didn't go the way I wanted.

"So a lot of those things came through my mind, and some of the moments I've had here at Augusta that maybe I haven't enjoyed as much and how stupid I really was trying to fight against something that you can't fight; and how proud I was of accepting things.

"And this week, I've done it better than I ever had, and you know, because of that, I've looked at the course in a different way throughout the whole week. I'm not going to lie; it's not the golf course that I'm most comfortable in, because I've become more of a fader than a drawer of the ball, and this golf course is asking you to hit a lot of draws.  

"But I knew that I could still work it around, you know, if I just accepted what was happening. So I'm very proud of that."

Garcia was among the European players to be critical of a section of American fans during last year's Ryder Cup at Hazeltine. However, the support was more vocal for Garcia than it was for Rose during the final round.

The 37-year-old was asked if receiving the backing of those in attendance made his success more special and replied: "They were very supportive but I do have to say that the patrons here have always been amazing. Always. Every year. It doesn't matter if you're winning the tournament or finishing 30th.

"I think Augusta National does a great job there, because it's easy to get some of those unfortunate drunk guys that start saying things that shouldn't be said on a golf course.

"Here, British Open, Mexico was great; there's a lot of great places in the US where I feel so much support. But there's always a group that, I don't know, they are just trying to be funny not only with me, with everyone, trying to be funny or something. And they get a little bit out of line. But it is what it is. We have to deal with it the best way possible and move on. "

What to read next

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes