The Guardian's Andrew Anthony nails down what was so satisfying about Sergio Garcia's Masters playoff win over Justin Rose.
He could have started his familiar antics at that stage, snapping at his caddie, grumbling at the crowd, chucking clubs, remonstrating with the heavens, demonstrating that he was, as Padraig Harrington has said, “a very sore loser”.
But instead he accepted the possibility of defeat, made his peace with it, and realised life would go happily on if his Ryder Cup mate Rose emerged the winner. Suddenly the lavishly talented man who wilted against the iron character of Tiger Woods, and twice cracked as the grittier Harrington snatched major victories from his grasp, looked comfortable with – even happy for – his opponent. And finally García won.
Gamesmanship stems from a desire to avoid defeat at any cost. The secret of sportsmanship is that learning how to lose can also teach you how to win.