England's Justin Rose admitted Sunday that losing the Masters in a playoff had been hard, but losing to old friend Sergio Garcia made it less painful.
The 36-year-old Olympic gold medalist and former US Open champion said he had first played Garcia when they were teenagers and they have been close friends ever since.
"We've played a lot of golf together since we were about 14 years old," he said. "We've always had a good friendship and a good camaraderie and good rivalry."
But while he has broken through into the ranks of major winners with his 2013 US Open win, and went on to claim last year's Olympic title, Garcia had failed in 73 attempts before Sunday to win a major title.
"It must be hard, as well, for guys when they are striving to win majors and they are seeing their peers pick them off and they are kind of being left behind," he said. "It's nice for him now to have that monkey off his back and I was very pleased for him."
He said that the defeat at the Masters for the second time following his second place in 2015, would continue to hurt, but he would now turn his attention to the three majors coming up later this year: the US Open, the British Open and the PGA Championship. He was also looking forward to more attempts to win the Masters.
"It's going to sting for sure," he said. "But you know, I really feel like this is a tournament that I can still go on to win," he said. "I'd like to win three or four green jackets, but one would be enough, you know. I just want to win here."