He took off his cap and stood to the side of the green, resigned to his fate. He had to birdie three of his last four holes for a 75.
Later, an emotional Garcia said, "I have seen (myself) winning it several time". His 8-iron into the par-5 15th - "One of the best shots I hit all week", he said - landed inches in front of the hole and nicked the pin, and he holed the 14-foot eagle putt to tie for the lead. "And I'm sure he helped a little bit with some of those shots, some of those putts". Rose missed a birdie putt from a shorter distance. Rose was poised to deliver a knockout on the par-5 13th when Garcia went left beyond the creek and into the bush.
They are due to get married in May, safe to say 2017 will be a good year for Sergio Garcia.
He added: "Some of the moments I've had here at Augusta 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". I felt his pain (after previous near-misses).
In the end, it wasn't enough.
A little luck is often required to win, and if Rose's seven-foot birdie putt at the 72nd hole had toppled in instead of grazing the cup, the Englishman probably would be celebrating getting halfway to the career grand slam, after winning the 2013 U.S. Open. "He's had his fair share of heartbreak".
Indeed, Rose seemed genuinely happy for a player he considers both a rival and a friend.
Playing the 18th hole again, Rose got in trouble with an errant tee shot, forcing him to punch out from behind a giant magnolia tree.
He had a shot, hitting his approach to about 14 feet.
"This week was just awesome", Garcia told the gathering at the green jacket ceremony.More news: Kane back to boost Tottenham's Premier League title bid
"It's good for Sergio", Rose said. "I would have liked to be on the right part of it".
Rose still had a chance to tie, and he did with a birdie that sent it to 16. Delighted as he was to beat Justin Rose in a play-off at Augusta National to finally get that monkey off his back, the Spaniard is hoping this is just the start.
At that point, it was apparent this would be a two-man race. That figure puts Garcia on par with contemporaries like Dustin Johnson ($7.1 million), Rickie Fowler ($9.1 million) and Jason Day ($10.75 million), but well behind superstars like Jordan Spieth ($24 million), Rory McIlroy ($32 million), Phil Mickelson ($33.5 million) and Tiger Woods ($34.6 million).
And when Garcia pulled his drive and needed to take a penalty for an unplayable lie at the 13th hole, it seemed Rose was destined to win. Rose was just over the back of the green in two, in position to turn a two-shot lead into four. I felt great. I felt in control. "I felt the calmest I've ever felt in a major.I knew I was playing well", Garcia said after his win.
"But I made peace with it, I accepted what Augusta gives and takes and it brought me here".
WINNER Sergio Garcia captured the first major championship of his career with a birdie putt on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff with Justin Rose.
On what would have been the 60th birthday of Seve Ballesteros, and after becoming the first victor to eagle 15 in the final round since Jose Maria Olazabal 23 years ago, Sergio Garcia joined his two idols and became the third Spaniard to win the Masters Tournament.
The eventual victor was Spain's Sergio Garcia who beat England's Justin Rose in a playoff after an epic duel on the famous back nine.
Sergio Garcia of Spain speaks after being presented with the Green Jacket after he won in a playoff during the final round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on 9 April, 2017 in Augusta, Georgia.