CASTELLON, Spain (AP) — Sergio Garcia won his first title in almost three years on Sunday, dominating for the third straight day at the Castello Masters while earning an 11-stroke victory that matched the third-largest margin of victory in European Tour history.
The 31-year-old Garcia, playing on a course where he was club champion at the age of 12, shot an 8-under 63 in the final round to finish at 27-under 257.
"That was for Seve," Garcia said, referring to golfing great Seve Ballesteros, who died of brain cancer in May.
Garcia had shot his best ever back-to-back rounds of 63 and 64 to lead the field since Friday, and he did not let up on the final day, recording nine birdies and just his fourth bogey in the event.
"It's hard to say that you expect to fire like I did, but I was feeling good and I've been improving all year," Garcia said.
"At the beginning of the week there's always a little extra pressure because you want to do well in front of your home fans and on your home course. But I felt really good and it showed."
Fellow Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano finished a distant second, and Alexander Noren was third.
Once ranked No. 2, Garcia had dropped outside the top 75 after near-misses at the 2007 British Open at Carnoustie and 2008 PGA Championship at Oakland Hills.
He has now returned to the top 35 with his second win at the Club de Campo del Mediterraneo, capping his improved season that includes top-12 finishes in the last three majors.
"I would like to thank not only my family and friends, but also my sponsors, everyone that's around me, for supporting me through two tough years," Garcia said. "They have stuck with me and believed in me and I'm happy to be able to pay them back with this victory."