Michaux: Plenty of good things happening for Garcia

Sergio Garcia is getting married to former Golf Channel reporter Angela Akins in July, and the whole color scheme of the wedding might have changed Sunday.

 

With his long-awaited breakthrough victory in a thrilling duel with Justin Rose that extended into a playoff, Garcia is in possession of one of the world’s most iconic and exclusive sports coats for the next year.

Will the green jacket be awaiting at the end of the aisle in Austin, Texas, when the bride arrives?

“We’ve been talking about it and it hasn’t been decided yet, but it’s a big possibility,” Garcia said Tuesday on The Today Show.

Akins didn’t rule it out Sunday night, admitting they’d already thought about it and would at the very least get a picture of him wearing it beside her in her wedding dress on their big day.

Garcia’s other happy day broke Mark O’Meara’s Masters record of most Augusta National starts before getting the green jacket, winning in his 19th appearance and 74th major overall.

He continues a streak of first-time major winners, with six in a row breaking through starting with Jason Day at the 2015 PGA Championship.

Sergio collected the big prize, but others warrant post-Masters mention:

BIRDIE: Justin Rose. Despite a crushing loss in a riveting duel, Olympic gold medalist was pure class in telling Garcia, “nobody deserved it more than you” after playoff defeat. Whole match was sportsmanship at its best.

BOGEY: Henrik Stenson. Silver medalist and reigning Open champ continues to be vexed by Augusta National, as his double bogey/eagle Friday start highlighted his early exit.

BIRDIE: Matt Kuchar. Back-door bronze medalist nearly did it again when his ace at 16 capped a 5-under back-nine rally to finish T4.

BOGEY: Dustin Johnson. The No. 1 golfer who couldn’t be beaten in three consecutive tournaments since February couldn’t even make it to the first tee because of a slip on the stairs Masters eve. No jet-ski lifting involved this time. “It sucks really bad,” was the understatement of the week.

BIRDIE: Thomas Pieters. Young Belgian flashed repeatedly on leaderboard, including late Sunday when he ran off four of his 18 birdies on the week to finish T4. Have to like his future chances.

BIRDIE: Jordan Spieth. His “bizarre” final-round 75 included five bogeys, four birdies and a double on No. 12, but the way he fought back from Thursday quad to nearly play in the final pairing for the fourth consecutive year proves he’s firmly the top man to beat at Augusta for the foreseeable future.

BOGEY: Ernie Els. Career-worst 83 on Saturday forced him to play potentially his final Masters round with a non-competing marker, but the South African great left feeling lucky he’s gotten to play in 23 Masters and is determined to come back.

BIRDIE: Stewart Hagestad. First Mid-Amateur champion to claim low amateur since Jay Sigel in 1988, he’s the first to even make the cut since the U.S. Mid-Amateur became an official qualifying option.

BOGEY: Bubba Watson. A tone-deaf quip about golf being hard but writing is easy was the least of his worries. He piled up 13 bogeys in 36 holes and has broken par only once in last eight Augusta rounds.

PAR: Lee Westwood. Left alone by Sergio in the greatest active players without a major debate, his 39 on the second nine Sunday dropped him out of top 12. So there’s no guarantee he’ll be back for a 19th Augusta start.

BIRDIE: Charl Schwartzel. Solo third marks best major finish since his Masters win in 2011. His final birdie putt on Sunday looked exactly like the one that helped him win a green jacket.

BOGEY: Charley Hoffman. For the second time in three Masters he hung around lead for three days after a brilliant opening 65, but final-round 78 cost him an automatic return.

BIRDIE: Fred Couples. At 57, he still features prominently at Augusta and lurked on the leaderboard through Sunday before fading late to finish T18. He and Larry Mize, 58, were the oldest guys to make the cut.

BIRDIE: Paul Casey. Third consecutive top-6 finish at Augusta and fifth top-10 in 11 Masters starts.

BOGEY: Phil Mickelson. The 46-year-old raised hopes early every round, playing the second hole in cumulative 6-under. But a couple of doubles on No. 3 on the weekend were early signs that his gas had run out.

PAR: Rory McIlroy. Things might have turned out differently had Rory’s perfect approach on 18 Friday not caromed off the pin and back down the fairway, leading to bogey instead of an easy birdie. Maybe next year.

BIRDIE: Russell Henley. The last guy in the field after winning Houston is one of the first back for 2018 thanks to his T11 finish. Ryan Moore (T9) and Kevin Chappell (T7) won’t have to sweat any qualifying bubbles either.

BOGEY: Rickie Fowler. Sitting a shot off lead through 54, his Sunday 76 playing with Spieth in penultimate group was a big disappointment.

PAR: Danny Willett. Defending champ played holes 2-18 in 1-over par over two days. Unfortunately, he posted double and quadruple bogeys on No. 1 and missed the cut by one stroke. His Sunday roast and Yorkshire pudding at the Champions Dinner was a hit.

BIRDIE: Forest Hills. Home of the Augusta Jaguars and Bobby Jones’ 1930 Southeastern Open win that kicked off Grand Slam season played host to Willett on Sunday as he killed time before green jacket ceremonies.

BOGEY: Patrick Reed. Bad mojo in the town where he starred as a collegian continues, as he missed his second Masters cut and still hasn’t posted a top-10 in 13 career majors.

BIRDIE: Jeff Knox. Jason Day joins the list of major winners – Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els, Bubba Watson, Jim Furyk, Craig Stadler, Larry Mize, Keegan Bradley and now Sergio Garcia – who have played with designated marker Knox in 19 rounds on the weekend at the Masters.

PAR: Gary Woodland. With his heart in a different place after wife lost one of their twins during pregnancy and is home on bed rest with the other, Woodland shot 75-80. Sometimes scores don’t matter at all.

BIRDIE: Jon Rahm. Closing triple hides reality that rookie was hanging around leaderboard most of the week. Bodes well for another Spanish winner soon.

OTHER: Tea Olive. The first hole ranked the hardest, giving up more doubles or worse (23) than birdies (18) all week.

BOGEY: Par-3 Contest. For the first time, the pre-tournament event got washed out before an official jinx could be activated. Jerry Pate and Buddy Alexander, denied entry by new rules, probably got a laugh out of that.

BIRDIE: Jack Nicklaus. Gary Player was awfully quick to declare it a tie in their annual long-drive competition, but anyone who saw it knows the Bear would have been hitting second from the fairway.

BIRDIE: Billy Payne. The club chairman had a good week opening a luxurious new press building and presiding over an emotional honorary starter ceremony.

EAGLE: Arnie. The King is gone but will never be forgotten.

 

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