Professional golfer Sergio Garcia has competed in major championships before — 73 to be exact. Each of those times, he walked away empty-handed. But on Sunday, the 37-year-old Spaniard professional golfer finally won the Masters Tournament, taking home the famous green blazer as a token of his perseverance.
“Not letting things get to me that used to get to me in the past has been a big step forward for me,” Garcia told The New York Times. “I’m not going to lie — I didn’t always feel this way… But I came to be at peace with it. I accepted what I needed to change. I feel perfectly at home now.”
Garcia dismissed his previous losses, and even the difficulties on the Augusta, Georgia greens that day, to accomplish his goals and beat his playing partner Justin Rose. He says he stayed calm, even when he bogeyed the 10th and 11th holes and sent a ball into the bushes on the 13th hole. After it was clear that Garcia was going to take the title, he and Rose gave each other a warm, brotherly hug.
Rose, unsurprisingly, was not a sore loser; his response to the defeat was a perfect score.
“It’s not always that easy. At the end of the day, you’re going to win majors, and you’re going to lose majors, but you’ve got to be willing to lose them,” he said after the game. “You’ve got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There’s a lot of pressure out there and if you’re not willing to enjoy it, then you’re not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”
It’s a solid reminder that in every loss of a victory, there’s a graceful way to handle it: by simply accepting it. As Garcia showed us himself: an epic win requires a couple of losses.