By Andrew Both
AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) – Defending champion Sergio Garcia racked up 13 shots at the par-five 15th on Thursday, matching the highest score recorded at any hole in the U.S. Masters.
Garcia’s hopes of successfully defending his title were in tatters after his meltdown at Augusta National.
In scenes more resembling the fictional movie Tin Cup than a major championship, Garcia drowned five balls in the pond guarding the green and the Spaniard’s hopes of becoming the fourth man to win consecutive Green Jackets all but disappeared in a few minutes.
It was a record high score at the hole. The previous worst was 11, by three players – Jumbo Ozaki in 1987, Ben Crenshaw in 1998 and Ignacio Garrido in 1999.
Garcia was two over par before the setback and he gathered himself to birdie the next hole before carding nine-over-par 81.
He matched Tom Weiskopf and Tommy Nakajima for the worst score at a single hole in the Masters.
Weiskopf’s 13 occurred at the par-three 12th in 1980 while Nakajima’s 13 was at the par-five 13th in 1978.
In the 1996 movie Tin Cup, the main character was in contention playing the final hole at a U.S. Open, only to run up a 12 after repeatedly finding the water with his approach shot.
(Reporting by Andrew Both; Editing by Ken Ferris and Ed Osmond)