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Garcia hopes to join elite who defended Masters green jacket

Sergio Garcia admits the odds are against him joining Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods as the only players to successfully defend the Masters.

Garcia won his first major title last year, beating Ryder Cup team-mate Justin Rose on the first hole of a sudden-death play-off.

And although he comes into the week on the back of a win earlier this season and three consecutive top-10 finishes, the 38-year-old is realistic about his chances of holding on to the green jacket.

Garcia said: "It's just difficult to win. It doesn't matter if it's back-to-back or just one. People don't realise how difficult it is to win a tournament and a major - and the Masters is even more difficult.

"It doesn't mean I'm not going to give it my best shot but it's not easy to do it. This year it feels like you probably have eight or 10 guys in good form with a really solid chance of winning. At the moment it's quite exciting.

"I feel like my game is quite solid. I'm obviously coming off three good tournaments but every week is different and it's just a matter of how I'm going to feel, how the nerves are going to be.

"This is my first time defending a major and a green jacket, so it's new to me. But I'll try and hopefully get off to a good start.

"But no matter what, this week is going to be amazing. And the most beautiful thing about it is that I get to play the Masters until I can't walk. So that's pretty cool."

Garcia joked that if he had to recount everywhere he took the green jacket last year he would miss his tee time tomorrow, but was forced to confess it had not survived entirely unscathed.

"So I've had the jacket for a day and a half and I look at my right arm and there's two big grease stains on it," Garcia said. "We were trying to clean it as best we can and then took it to a dry cleaner."

Garcia also revealed he will wear a green ribbon in his cap this week in tribute to his friend and former Augusta member Rob Chapman, who died from a brain aneurysm in July.

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