Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy

Who will win more Masters titles – Garcia or McIlroy?

The NCG team head to the 19th hole to discuss the most important talking points surrounding Sergio Garcia's Masters victory.

Alex Perry: Come on then. Monkey off his back and all that. He’s won the Masters – how many majors does Sergio go on and win now?

Steve Carroll: If poor old Danny Willett is any indication, his game falls off a cliff. Garcia’s finally climbed the mountain and he’s bound to mentally think he’s done the job for a while.

James Savage: Comparing Garcia with Willett is unfair. Willett has contended in one major. Garcia has been knocking on the door for almost 20 years.

SC: You’re missing my point. It’s the demands of Masters success that can cause the loss of form.

Mark Townsend: Then again Harrington was the perennial bridesmaid and then BOOM! Three majors in just over a year.

Craig Middleton: The demands of Masters success are only a problem if you let them be. Jordan Spieth didn’t have that issue in 2015. Too easy to make an excuse. It’s just another golf tournament at the end of the day. It shouldn’t stop you from doing anything for the rest of the year.

JS: I think as a veteran of major championships and Ryder Cups it won’t have the same affect on Garcia as it did on Willett.

SC: Winning the Masters is different to any other major. They expect you to be an ambassador. He’ll be on late-night chat shows. He’ll take that jacket all over the world. There will be a period of adjustment.

MT: Garcia will win one more maybe – two at the most. It still takes such a huge effort to win a major so it might take him a while to enjoy and, as Steve alludes to, handle this. The obvious one is the Open but he might be a weird one and never win that. Also Dustin Johnson will be in the field so that changes things a bit as well.

Masters galleryJS: I reckon Garcia has a better chance at the Grand Slam than Rory. No reason why he can’t win the other three.

AP: Good grief. That’s some claim.

JS: I think I’m just bitter about wasting another bet on Rory. But you feel it will get harder for him each year.

CM: I’ll go down the other route and say that’s Garcia’s only major.

JS: I don’t think you can make a case for saying he won’t win another major. He’s 37 and one of the best players in the world. No reason why he won’t win another couple.

CM: Aged 37, Lee Westwood was World No. 1 and still hasn’t won a major, and that’s without the likes of Spieth, McIlroy etc. to contend against. I think there’s a good case to say Sergio won’t win another one.

JS: Make your case then.

CM: Sorry, Westwood was No. 2 aged 37. It’s a lot harder to win a major now with the competition there is at the minute. Just because he is one of the best players in the world now doesn’t necessarily mean he will win another major, especially the Grand Slam.

JS: So the reason he won’t win another major is because there are too many other good players in the world? I don’t have a problem with that argument.

MT: Despite his youthful demeanour, Garcia is from a different generation to 23-year-old Spieth and Rory, who is 27. He’s got maybe five years tops of being a consistent threat. If I had to guess I’d say he’ll finish with two.

Joe Urquhart: Honestly, I don’t think he’d be that bothered if he never wins another but he certainly has the talent. His attitude might actually prove to help rather than hinder now he’s over that first hurdle and got the monkey off his back.

JS: If there was one major you’d have said Garcia would never win it would have been the Masters. So why would he now all of a sudden be incapable of winning the other three?

CM: But before the Masters would you have said he could win the Grand Slam?

JS: No. I thought he would never win a single major because the near misses had impacted on him too much. This win changes that.

MT: Two different beasts. The nature of the win should be the biggest fillip rather than where or when. For years he’s dribbled away in majors, this time he had pretty much blown it and then didn’t miss a shot for two hours. Most of us didn’t think he could do that.

AP: He probably didn’t think he could do it.

JS: He said he was a peace with Augusta and think he was at peace with the fact he hadn’t won a major. As he said in his press conference, he has a wonderful life and if he’d never won a major it wasn’t going to eat him up inside. That’s a different and healthier mindset to Rory who is so desperate to win at Augusta and will feel like he has failed if he doesn’t.

James Broadhurst: I would love to see Garcia add the Open to his trophy cabinet. Maybe Carnoustie in 2018, 11 years after he came so close to winning at the same course?

AP: You’re such a romantic JB.

JS: As NCG’s newly appointed stats guru, JB, will everything you say from now on contain some sort of statistic?

JB: There’s a 90 per cent chance.

AP: Enough. Who wins more Green Jackets – Sergio or Rory?

MT: Rory, 3-1.

CM: Rory 5-1. Yes. Really.

AP: Five? As in, five more than he currently has?

CM: Five is silly actually. I don’t know why I said that.

JS: We’re all tired mate, don’t worry.

JB: Can we get some hammocks for the office?

AP: Hammocks? My goodness, what an idea. Why didn’t I think of that? Hammocks! James, there’s four places. There’s the Hammock Hut, that’s on third. There’s Hammocks-R-Us, that’s on third too. You got Put-Your-Butt-There. That’s on third. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot… Matter of fact, they’re all in the same complex; it’s the hammock complex on third.

SC: Nice.

JB: Rory will win at least one Green Jacket.

JS: 2-1 Sergio.

AP: Sergio to win another Masters? And the general consensus is Rory will win at least one?

SC: No. He won’t.

JS: There will be one year where everyone plays really badly and his standard six or seven under will get it done.

AP: What about Justin Rose? Five Augusta top-10s including two runner-up finishes. He’ll get over the line one year, won’t he?

JS: He’s good enough. But I’ve been asking myself what Sergio, Rory or Tiger would have done when out of position on the first play-off hole. Rose played the percentage shot, took his medicine, and ruled out any chance of a birdie. And that’s why, no matter how brilliant he is, fans won’t love him in the same way as the more maverick players.

AP: Anything you didn’t like about this year’s Masters?

JU: Rory’s pink shirt.

JS: One of the worst things has been the utter drivel that has popped up in my Twitter timeline.

AP: God yes. Live tweeting play-by-plays! Why? I just don’t get it. People telling their 300 followers what’s happening on a screen I’m also watching. If you’re at Augusta, go and get me some content I can’t get from my armchair. If you’re not at Augusta, why are you tweeting what’s happening on your TV. Give me some opinion – preferably your own and not something you’ve nicked from Alan Shipnuck.

JS: Exactly. Show me that you’re there. Tweet photos of the media centre, tweet photos of the inside of the toilets for all I care. Just don’t tell me that Jason Day has just made par at the 15th.

AP: I’m not going to beat on social media though. On the whole, it’s changed the way we watch sport for the better. And while the people that do it well don’t outweigh those that do it poorly, they certainly make up for it.

CM: Drive, Chip and Putt…

JS: Exactly. I’ve already waited a year for the Masters, I can wait another day. Stop trying to fill the week with this shit.

AP: Does anyone else find it strange that that literally the whole of England was rooting for Sergio when he was up against an Englishman?

MT: Other than Ian Woosnam I don’t think nationality has ever played a part in my allegiances. It is individual and the only genuine team sport in golf is Europe. I would have preferred Spieth to Garcia at the start of the day.

AP: Why?

MT: He’s my current favourite golfer, a good bloke, and would have been a lovey single-figure salute to a lot of people. By the time it finished I was chuffed for Garcia and thought it was the best result.

JU: Anyone but Sergio last night and it would have been Rose who I would’ve cheered for. But having seen how close Sergio has got before and the pain he has endured it is hard not to want someone who has produced so much for European golf in the Ryder Cup to win a major. I also think his personality sets him apart, he wears his heart on his sleeve and people like the realism away from the standard boring PGA Tour golfer.

JS: Rose is boring. Faldo was boring but I wanted him to win. Imagine if Greg Norman had offered Faldo a high five after they both hit good shots into a par 3. I’d have more respect for Rose if he’d left Garcia hanging. He’s just so predictably nice.

CM: I don’t care who wins, as long as it’s good to watch.

AP: You mean as long as you’ve got money on them…


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