Tiger Woods recorded his highest score on a single hole in his 26-year professional career with a calamitous 10 at Augusta National’s par-three 12th on Sunday.
The treacherous short hole was good to Woods in his 2019 comeback victory when fellow contenders Francesco Molinari, Brooks Koepka and Ian Poulter all found Rae’s Creek, but it came back to bite him in brutal fashion in this year’s final round.
An eight-iron tee shot came up shy and rolled back into the water, before Woods did the same with a pitch from the drop zone.
Playing five, Woods flew his next attempt over the green into the back bunker, leaving an awkward stance with the ball well below his feet. Unable to control the shot from sand, Woods’ sixth rocketed across the green back into the pond.
He took a penalty drop in the bunker, splashed out to the fringe with his eighth and missed the putt for a nine.
Remarkably, it’s the third time since 2013 that the defending champion made double figures on a hole at the Masters. Sergio García made a 13 on the 15th hole in 2018 and Bubba Watson made a 10 at the 12th hole in 2013.
Woods managed to retain his composure and birdie the par-five 13th and the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th to claw his way back to one-under, but his Masters defence ultimately petered out after a promising first-round 68.
The fast turnaround between rounds two and three and a 26-hole Saturday seemed to hamper him physically, with Woods showing signs of stiffness in his lower back.