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Sergio Garcia took his name off the list of “best golfers to never win a major” last year at The Masters. An final round eagle on the par-5 15th hole propelled him to a playoff and ultimately that green jacket, so Garcia surely stepped to that tee during Thursday's first round with some measure of confidence.
Sitting 206 yards out for his second shot, that's when things went astray for Garcia. He would eventually put five shots into the water, including four after moving to the drop zone.
Here's a look at some of the meltdown.
The speed and slope of Augusta National's greens have bitten multiple golfers, and Garcia was the No. 1 victim on Thursday. He would knock his 12th shot on the green and one-put for a 13 on his way to an 81 for the round. Of that +9 score, +8 of it came on that single hole.
If Garcia's experience looks familiar, beyond your own experience as a weekend hacker, it should. In the 1996 film “Tin Cup”, Roy McAvoy (played by Kevin Costner) also hit multiple balls into the water, on the 72nd hole of the U.S. Open, to completely torpedo his chances to win.
Garcia was not necessarily stubborn to the level Tin Cup was, but he should have done something different after about the second failed approach shot. With each ball that spun off the green and back into the water, his hopes of a Masters repeat disappeared. Making the cut on Friday will be a challenge itself now, all because he wouldn't go up a club or choose a different aiming point on the green.