"You can see the emotion on him, and I maybe created some of that emotion, so I'll take some credit for that".
There were top-five finishes in 2016, though, at the US Open and the Open Championship, which would've been a welcome boost to the confidence. "I don't have the thing I need to have", Garcia said at the time.
"To do it on Seve's 60th birthday and to join him and [Jose Maria] Olazabal, my two idols in golf, it's something incredible".
"By the time García arrived at Augusta last week he was largely a forgotten figure, despite a lopsided win two months earlier against a good field in Dubai", Shipnuck wrote in his cover story for Sports Illustrated.
Rose said his disappointment was tempered by his happiness at seeing his Ryder Cup colleague Garcia finally win a major.
He crouched in disbelief, both fists clenched and shaking, and he shouted above the loudest roar of the day.
Did he fear that he'd never lose that pesky tag of "best player never to win a major"?
"Justin wasn't making it easy".
Spain's Garcia, at 37, is a year older than Rose, who is British.
'I hit it where I wanted to, ' he said. "It would have been nice to walk down the aisle in a green jacket". "I think it made this victory taste even better", Garcia said of his win.More news: Georgia cops fired after videos surface of them punching and kicking motorist
"He deserves it. He's had his fair share of heartbreak".
With Rose lagging his long eagle attempt to tap-in distance, Garcia holed from 15 feet to get back on level terms, but Rose reclaimed the lead with a birdie on the 16th before failing to get up and down from a bunker on the 17th.
Everyone figured this was coming, right? The concern was that top players would skip the event because of travel to France for the fifth and final LPGA event of the year.
Until late Sunday afternoon, Sergio Garcia was firmly in contention for that title, along with Rickey Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama, Lee Westwood, Paul Casey and Matt Kuchar. He knocked it to 7 feet and made that for a par. Garcia wasted no time wrapping up the Masters, sinking a birdie putt before crouching in disbelief while hearing chants of "Ser-gee-oh!" He went 308 PGA Tour starts before winning a major.
Indeed, Rose seemed genuinely happy for a player he considers both a rival and a friend. He held his nerve to become only the third Spaniard to win the prestigious title after Seve Ballesteros (1980, 1983) and Jose Maria Olazabal (1994, 1999).
Angela Akins (l.) and Sergio Garcia (r.) will soon get married and his Masters green jacket might make an appearance at the ceremony. He had to birdie three of his last four holes for a 75.
Memorable duels between playing partners in the closing round of a major championship don't happen very often.
"If it, for whatever reason, didn't happen, my life is still going to go on".
Garcia's first shot on the 13 hole was bad.