Masters meltdown: Sergio Garcia sinks four balls in pond

Masters meltdown: Sergio Garcia sinks four balls in pond

Masters meltdown: Sergio Garcia sinks four balls in pond

But it's also still remarkable that he's playing the Masters again and made the cut.

With Garcia effectively out of the green jacket running-he's 15 shots behind Jordan Spieth, and only ahead of amateur Harry Ellis-Paddy's Power, an Irish bookmaker, is lending a shoulder to deflated gamblers by refunding those who placed bets on the Spaniard. He trails leader Patrick Reed by five strokes heading into the third round.

Another errant tee shot on the par-five second and a three-putt from long range added up to a second consecutive six and left Spieth a shot behind fellow American Matt Kuchar. It plopped down 5 feet away. "I played a really solid round of golf", Finau said.

"If you get off to a good start, you're in control of your own fate, versus needing a little bit of help", Spieth said. "When that went in, I thought, 'OK, forget about everything that's happened here". But it wasn't enough, and really, those three words - it wasn't enough - sort of summed up his much anticipated return to Augusta National after a two-year personal hell.

Ditto for Woods, except that he has some catching up to do. Woods slipped to three over with a bogey on 12, and if he had not made a challenging putt, he would have slipped to four over. He was under par one only one hole.

"All of a sudden, I have this pop", Woods said on Tuesday when asked about the club-head speed he is generating again.

If any reader has a mind to take up golf, just watch one of the game's best players crumble out of contention in a hurry. Even so, his 66 sent a strong message. Garcia often pouted when things went bad, and took to blaming unknown outside factors for his failures to capitalize in the major championships. "His record is spectacular around here". "If it didn't work [popping it back in], then I would have laid there and been even more embarrassed being pulled out on a stretcher celebrating a hole-in-one". He found some good form and an improving putting stroke last week in the Houston Open and said he's carried the momentum into this week.

Tiger showed he's as focused as ever, but it's clear that he's enjoying the limelight more than in years past. He excused it as typical "punches" from a daunting golf course in hard conditions.

The best comeback? That might now belong to Finau. He suffered fractures in his left collarbone, left ankle, pelvis and a rib. Mickelson outlasted Ernie Els by sinking a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th green.

"I felt like the ball was going to stop and unfortunately for whatever reason it didn't want to", Garcia said. "Quite honestly, it was a pretty cool moment followed by probably one of my most embarrassing moments and a scary moment at the same time". He sheepishly popped it back into place and crawled out of bed with almost no chance of teeing it up before his first excursion down Magnolia Lane.

It was just tough to score, with the greens slick and firm and several tough pin positions, mainly toward the front of the greens.

Garcia's unlucky 13 also matched the highest score on any hole in Masters history. "I had good numbers though, numbers where I could hit nice full shots and that makes a difference". He wound up with an 81, the highest score in the opening round by a defending Masters champion. It's the first time in my career where I make a 13 without missing a shot. He carded a 3 on the same hole when he played it in 2017 during his march to the title, Sports Illustrated wrote. He felt he played better than he scored. He was tied for 29th.

Among them include Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler and Tiger Woods. With the way the back nine was playing today, the wheels could have come off there.

He bounced back with a birdie at No. 12 to get to 2 over for the tournament.

"I told them to move", Woods barked under his breath, but in earshot of those close by. It marked the first time in 35 rounds at Augusta National that McIlroy made birdie at the opening hole, which played as the toughest hole last season.

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