Garcia named Hilton European Tour Golfer of the Month for April
Sergio Garcia has been named as the Hilton European Tour Golfer of the Month for his Masters Tournament heroics, having overcome Justin Rose in a play-off at Augusta National to claim his maiden Major title.
The Spanish sensation was a hugely popular winner as he earned the coveted green jacket, becoming just the third player from his home country to do so – following Seve Ballesteros (1980 and 1984) and José María Olazábal (1994 and 1999).
Fittingly, Garcia’s triumph came on the day that his idol Ballesteros would have turned 60, adding another dimension of sentiment to an already emotion-tinged day as the 37 year old banished the demons of previous missed opportunities at golf’s big four.
Rose looked set for victory as the Englishman took a two-shot lead at the 12th, but Garcia eked out a clutch par at the 13th to shift the momentum in his favour and a birdie at the 14th was followed by a crucial eagle at the 15th to set up a grandstand play-off finish.
After Rose leaked his drive on the first play-off hole into the pine straw, Garcia held his nerve and while he had two putts to win it, he duly rolled in a 12 foot birdie putt for a famous victory.
The World Number Five also beat Rose to the Hilton European Golfer of the Month award, with the former US Open winner voted into second place for his creditable performance, while Edoardo Molinari was voted in third place after his first victory in seven years at the Trophée Hassan II.
Garcia will receive 50,000 Hilton Honors points after winning the Hilton European Tour Golfer of the Month award for February and with it, an upgrade to Hilton Honors Diamond Elite status.
“I am honoured to be named as the Hilton European Tour Golfer of the Month,” said Garcia. “It has been such a memorable time of my life since the Masters victory and hopefully I can repeat it many times over.
“Winning my first Major at Augusta was a dream come true and the fact that it came on the day that Seve would have turned 60 made it even more special. He has always been my biggest inspiration in this game and I owe a lot to him.”
David Facey, golf writer for the Sun, said: “Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose are deserved occupants of the top two spots for the award. They both combined to produce a truly classic climax to the Masters, trading blow for blow in an epic final round but of course, nobody deserves to receive this award more than Garcia.
“The choice for third place was not easy, with some outstanding winners to choose from. But Edoardo Molinari’s two eagles in the last seven holes to force a play-off with Paul Dunne – and then secure his first European Tour victory for seven years – set him apart.”
Hilton, the Official Hotel Supplier to the European Tour, is the Official Sponsor of the Hilton European Tour Golfer of the Month award, which recognises and rewards the best performances of European Tour members each month.