Sergio Garcia said it was an amazing feeling to join his two idols in golf - Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal by winning the US Masters.
The 37-year-old finally won his first Major and as he put on the famous green jacket at Augusta he joined Spanish golfing royalty as a Masters champion.
It was a particularly special day for Garcia as it came on what would have been Ballesteros' 60th birthday.
"It's amazing to do it on Seve's 60th birthday and to join him and (Jose Maria) Olazabal, my two idols in golf, it's something amazing," said the champion, who received his green jacket from last year's winner Danny Willet.
"Jose sent me a text on Wednesday telling me how much he believed in me and what I needed to do, believe in myself, be calm and not let things get to me as I had in the past."
Five years after claiming he was not good enough to win a major, Garcia proved himself wrong in thrilling fashion by beating Justin Rose in a play-off
In doing so he became the third Spanish winner at Augusta National with a birdie on the first extra hole following a sensational duel with his Ryder Cup team-mate.
The pair had finished tied on nine under par after closing rounds of 69, with Rose overturning an early three-stroke deficit to lead by a shot after 16 holes, only to bogey the 17th and then fail to convert a birdie attempt from seven feet on the last.
In 2009 Garcia said he didn't like Augusta 'too tricky'. In 2012 he said he didn't feel capable of winning here. He's matured. Great winner.— Greg Allen (@gregallenRTE) April 9, 2017
That left Garcia with a chance to win his first major title at the 74th attempt, but his putt from five feet slid past the hole and meant the first play-off at Augusta since Adam Scott beat Angel Cabrera in 2013.
The players returned to the 18th and Rose was unable to save par after pushing his drive into the trees and hitting a poor recovery, but Garcia finished an unforgettable day in style by holing from 12 feet for birdie.
Rory McIlroy carded his best round of the week - a 69 to finish on three under to finish tied for seventh.
He admitted afterwards that he had simply not played well enough after his third attempt to complete the career grand slam failed to spark into life at Augusta National.
2 unbelievable players and 2 great friends, but I couldn't be happier for @TheSergioGarcia. You deserve it all amigo!!— Rory McIlroy (@McIlroyRory) April 9, 2017
Garcia was playing his 71st consecutive major championship, a streak stretching back to the 1999 Open Championship at Carnoustie.
A month later he finished second in the US PGA Championship at the age of 19, but had since recorded a further 21 top-10 finishes without claiming a maiden major title.
And after finishing 12th at Augusta in 2012, Garcia told Spanish reporters: "'I'm not good enough. In 13 years I've come to the conclusion that I need to play for second or third place."
"It's been such a long time coming and I thought I had it on 18," Garcia said before receiving his green jacket from Willett.
"I hit the putt exactly where I wanted. I knew I was playing well. I felt the calmest I've ever felt on a major Sunday and even after making a couple of bogeys I was still very positive, and hit some really good shots coming in and I'm so happy.
Rose, who was looking to become the first European player to win the Masters and US Open, said: "Lots of good things happened today. It was a wonderful battle and if there is anyone you want to lose to it's Sergio. He deserves it, he's had his fair share of heartache.
"I felt I had it under control round the turn, he obviously rallied and had a great comeback with the save on 13, the birdie on 14 and eagle on 15. Other than that I had it won.
"This is a tournament I am going to win one day. I've been in the last group a couple of times and shot 14 under when Jordan (Spieth) won. I feel really confident here, this my favourite tournament of the year. I still have a bunch of good years in me and feel this is one I can still knock off."