April 5, 2018 / 9:47 PM / 15 days ago

Golf: I hit good shots, says Garcia after ugly unlucky 13

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Defending champion Sergio Garcia racked up 13 strokes at the par-five 15th on Thursday without hitting a bad shot, he said after matching the highest score recorded at any hole in the U.S. Masters.

Sergio Garcia of Spain chips to the second green during first round play of the 2018 Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, U.S., April 5, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Garcia’s hopes of consecutive Green Jackets 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.

His second shot, with a six-iron from 205 yards, cleared the water but rolled back in, leaving Garcia to lament a game of inches.

“I thought it was perfect, straight at the flag,” the Spaniard said after carding nine-over-par 81. “If it carries probably two more feet, it’s probably good.”

There was less excuse for the subsequent four shots he struck with his sand wedge.

He cleared the water each time, but imparted too much backspin and watched in exasperation as ball after ball trickled back into the drink.

“It’s the first time in my career where I make a 13 without missing a shot,” he said.

“I kept hitting good shots with the sand wedge and unfortunately, I don’t know why, the ball just wouldn’t stop.”

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 also 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.

Sergio Garcia of Spain walks up onto the 18th green during first round play of the 2018 Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, U.S., April 5, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Reporting by Andrew Both; Editing by Ken Ferris and Ed Osmond

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