Ernie Els’ start to the 2016 Masters was a disaster of biblical proportions.
The 46-year-old carded a 10 at Augusta National’s first hole, the highest score on Tea Olive in Masters history. Worse, it wasn’t just that Els made a 10. It was how.
The four-time major winner took seven putts on the hole, all from three feet or less.
“Everyone was just dumbfounded,” a gallery guard by the first green said shortly after. “I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Another marshal said he lost count of the putts, guessing it was six. Nope. Seven. The performance was so bad that the Masters’ shot tracker was unable to illustrate Els’ putts.
What’s not seen in the video is Els’ par putt, which came from about three feet after a nice chip shot. Fans around the green said Els backed off the first putt three times before his caddie gave him a pep talk. Obviously, it didn’t work.
On the second hole, Els again was plagued by short-game woes, three-putting from 25 feet, including a missed three-footer for birdie.