Els makes 9 on opening hole after six putts


Ernie Els began his quest for a green jacket in disastrous fashion.

The four-time major champ opened with a quintuple-bogey on Thursday after a collapse on the first green that included six putts.

Els was just long and left of the green after his approach, and had only 2 feet to save par. But his par attempt slid 3 feet past the hole, leading to an unfortunate sequence where Els went from one side of the hole to the other, missing putt after putt from short range.

It was originally reported that Els made a 10 on the hole, with seven putts. But Masters officials corrected the score to a 9 (with six putts).

The sobering distance of Els' opening-hole misses: 2 feet, 3 feet, 3 feet, 10 inches, and 11 inches.

Els has had issues on the greens in recent months, missing from short range on multiple occasions. He rebounded from the opening-hole blunder to reach the par-5 second hole in two, but the South African then three-putted from 25 feet, including a 3-foot miss for birdie.

He gained entry into this week’s field by virtue of his win at the 2012 Open Championship. Els shot 80 in the first round.