Sergio Garcia humbled by response to Masters win

The Spaniard returns to action this weekend in Florida

BY Daniel Kelly 10:51 Thursday 11 May 2017, 10:51 11 May 2017

Picture by: Chris O'Meara/AP/Press Association Images

Sergio Garcia begins the next stage of his career, on Thursday evening.

For the first time since winning The Masters last month, Garcia tees off in a tournament as a major champion. A former winner of the The Players Championship, Garcia is hopeful of repeating his triumph from 2008.

While he is still getting used to his status as a major champion, Garcia revealed on the eve of the tournament that he has been humbled by the amount of good wishes he received from fellow professionals after his win at Augusta.

"There's so many great things that have happened since Sunday at Augusta. You know, the support from fans and supporters and everyone around the world has been amazing."

"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 - well, it's true. I'm not going to lie."

"They've been so happy for me to get my first major and win the Masters. That, to me, it shows me a lot. It shows me how much my fellow players respect me and care about me. It's something that you can't really fake, so that's awesome."

One player that Garcia specifically mentioned was Rory McIlroy and his reaction to Garcia's Augusta triumph. The two Ryder Cup stars are very close to each other.

"He was extremely happy for me to have won the Masters. He was just - like I said before, so many unbelievable reactions from other players. They were like so pleased for me. It almost feels like they wanted me to win it more than I did."

"I'm sure it wasn't like that because I wanted it very badly. But it was just nice to - it was nice to see fellow players that are friends of yours and friends of mine in this case that they're genuinely very happy for you to achieve that."

The Spaniard felt the reasoning behind his rival's delight in winning at Augusta was down to "respect".

"They see that I haven't changed in 20 years that I've been here on Tour. That's the way my parents made me and brought me up. I always try to be respectful to everyone around me, and probably they were happy to see that a genuine guy like me was able to get one of his dreams -- make his dreams come true."

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

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