Sergio Garcia still buzzing over his Masters title ahead of Players

Masters champion Garcia returns to action at The Players

It's a tiny change, and a most appropriate one. It will be the same ball with the same number - 49, to honor the year his mother was born.

Sergio Garcia celebrates after making a putt on the 18th green during the first playoff hole to win the 2017 Masters. But for me, what has meant the most, it's to see the reaction from the players, you know, towards me and how happy - other than a couple, how happy they all have been (laughing).

The four weeks that followed showed Garcia how much it meant to everyone else.

"I was telling Rory McIlroy and some of the other guys that I've been very fortunate to have fantastic cheers, with 15-20,000 people chanting my name at Augusta and Ryder Cups". "The first time I saw him was when he got into our wedding on Friday night. Just to see what he's been through, and his struggles, and for it to be there". I throw and catch with my left arm, but write and play tennis right-handed.

"Got off to a awful start but managed to have a great finish and tomorrow I'll go out there a little calmer and get back into this tournament".

Garcia, a lifelong Real Madrid fan, said being introduced to the crowd at the Bernabeu had been the highlight of his break.

Garcia has been playing the Ryder Cup since 1999, three of them on European soil.

"I've been very fortunate to have unbelievable cheers and 15,000-20,000 people chanting my name at Augusta, Ryder Cups, something like that". And I was nervous. Even the drive that almost ended his chances at the dogleg-13th was tugged only two yards, at most, and that's how his ball caught a branch and crashed into the pine straw. "That was very unique and something that - with many things that happened at Augusta - that I will never forget".

The golf world, which once had issues with Garcia's petulance when he was younger and less mature, now embraces him as a veteran who had paid more than his dues before finally tasting the nectar of a major championship victory.

Feeling good: Sergio Garcia.

McIlroy was asked about it and without answering, he reached into his pocket for his phone and began scrolling through the pictures to show one of Harrington with a broad smile as Garcia is leaning into him, chin up and lips puckered as he feigns planting a kiss on Harrington's cheek.

He says if you have a great partner who's willing to sacrifice for you, it gives you balance to your life and golf game. I think that at the end of the day that people see that, and now they're even happier because, yeah, we won at Augusta. "And it was all good".

Frankly, we're disheartened. Everyone gets married; only a chosen few can step to the alter in the green jacket.

Meanwhile, Garcia has reflected on that first-ever major success at Augusta.

But it is back to work now at a tournament many consider the most prestigious outside the four majors.

While Padraig didn't go in to too much detail, Sergio did as he was speaking ahead of The Players Championship this weekend.

Garcia has been paired with former Masters champion Adam Scott and Olympic medallist Matt Kuchar in the opening two rounds of the tournament.

"It's one of those places that kind of frustrates you to death and it frustrates me every time I walk on the property", admitted McGirt, whose previous best finish in the event is a tie for 43rd. And, perhaps most importantly, will Garcia wear the green jacket to his upcoming wedding?

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