Sergio Garcia racks up unlucky 13 on 15th hole at Augusta

The defending champion had an absolute nightmare as he put four balls in the water

Sergio Garcia racked up a 13 at the 15th hole in the opening round of the US Masters. Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Sergio Garcia racked up a 13 at the 15th hole in the opening round of the US Masters. Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

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Augusta National is known for biting back, but not like this.

After clinching a first green jacket at the US Masters last year, Sergio Garcia had high hopes for this week but they were dashed on the 15th in the first round when he equalled an Augusta record.

And not a record you would want.

At the Par 5 Garcia racked up a 13 after putting five shots into the water.

Yes, you read that correctly – a 13.

Just two other golfers have ever made such a high score at the first Major of the year – Tom Weiskopf at the 12th in 1980 and Tsuneyuki Nakajima at the 13th in 1978.

Garcia’s is the highest score ever recorded at the 15th. And to think the same hole was the scene of his magnificent eagle in the final round last year.

With a devlishly tough pin at the front of the green, Garcia went for the green in two but found the water short. And from there it just got worse.

His fourth shot flew past the pin but spun back, catching the slope and rolling all the way back into the water.

His sixth did the same. And his eighth. And his 10th.

Finally, with his 12th shot he managed to stop it eight feet away and then, somehow, hole the put for a 13 to go to 10 over par after a steady enough two over through the first 14.

What a way to put paid to any chances of defending your title. But Garcia must be commended for standing up and making a birdie two at the 16th – that’s bouncebackability.

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