Sergio wins his 1st major after 74 career starts with a birdie on #18 in a playoff with Justin Rose.
I think all of golf is happy for Sergio overcoming his difficulty in winning a major. It has been a tough road and ironically his 1st victory may very well be a result of accepting the possibility of defeat.
His post tournament press conference was extraordinary in describing his mentality and character throughout his tournament, final round and the playoff hole.
Masters.com Video - Sergio Press Conference
His initial comments: "I knew I was playing well, I was very calm (more so than previously), I knew what I was capable of doing, I believed I could do it and today I was able to do it."
Sergio knew his game, it was strong and he executed.
He describes the turning point in the round after two bogeys on #10 and #11.
"I was playing well, there were some tough holes to come, but there were some I could go after and unless Justin started making birdies left and right, I knew I would have some chances."
He credits the par putt on #13, "more than anything", for sparking his play coming down the stretch.
"I hit great shots except the putt on #16 but played #17, #18 very well, under the gun with pressure, not that easy to do. That gave me a lot of belief and I, for some reason in playoffs, feel quite comfortable. I've already had a great week and can free wheel it. I hit two great shots and won the tournament."
The extraordinary part of the conference comes at the 5:48 mark in describing his thoughts on #13.
He credits how positive he stayed. In the past he would have turned negative and complained about the results of a bad shot. But today, he chose an accepting attitude and a positive mental direction.
"Well, if that's what is suppose to happen, let it happen. Let's make a great 5 here and see if we can put on a hell of a finish to have a chance. If not, we will shake Justin's hand and congratulate him for winning."
From that point on he makes birdie on #14, eagle on #15, pars on #16, #17, #18 and birdies the playoff hole #18. He doesn't miss a shot (other than the putt for birdie on #16) and wins the tournament.
Ironically, he accepted the possibility of losing and then won.