Worst Masters first-hole score for Els

Ernie Els

Els finished second at the Masters in 2000 and 2004

Former world number one Ernie Els carded a 10 to record the worst ever first-hole score at the Masters.

After three shots at the par four, Els was within three feet of the hole but then took seven putts – the final two of which were hit with one hand.

The 46-year-old South African, a four-time major winner, immediately slipped back to six over par.

The Masters had previously seen nine players officially suffer a double-figure score.

“It is really disappointing,” former PGA tour professional Jay Townsend said on BBC Radio 5 live. “It ruins your week. There is no way back, even if you play well.

“Ernie Els has had this problem for a while, he’s been yippy. Right now I am sure his head is just spinning.”


Els was six over par after one hole

Big problems for the Big Easy

Els used a belly putter when he won the last of his major titles at the 2012 Open Championship, but has had to revert to a short-handled club since anchored strokes were banned on 1 January.

He had putting problems at the end of last season and missed an 18-incher on the way to missing the cut at the SA Open in January.

He has since switched to a cross-handed method and finished 18th at the Dubai Desert Classic in February.

The records

Billy Casper took a 14 at the 16th in 2005 but did not submit his card and was disqualified.

That left the 13s taken by Tsuneyuki Nakajima at the par-five 13th in 1978 and Tom Weiskopf at the par-three 12th in 1980 as the worst one-hole scores in Masters history.

The most recent double-figure score was recorded by American David Duval with his 10 at the par-five second in 2006.

The previous worst score on the first hole was eight strokes, recorded by four players.

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