Augusta - Four-time major champion Ernie Els, nicknamed "The Big Easy," took it a bit too easy on Thursday on the first hole of the Masters and paid for it in a record-setting humiliation.
The 46-year-old South African fired a sextuple-bogey 10, the highest score ever recorded on the par-4 opening hole at Augusta National, seven-putting the green to start his 22nd Masters appearance.
The imperfect 10 was two strokes worse than the prior highest score on the 445-yard hole named Tea Olive, the eights shot by Olin Browne and Scott Simpson in 1998, Billy Casper in 2001 and India's Jeev Milkha Singh in 2007.
Els fired his first shot into the huge bunker right of the fairway and sent his approach 18 yards left of the green before pitching his approach to two feet.
Then came the agony, misses from three feet or less from all around the hole until he paused before his seventh stroke and gathered himself. Els then left the ball 10 inches from the cup only to push the ball past the hole.
Els nonchalantly used a one-hand swing to tap the ball back toward the cup and it lipped out, prompting him to reach over and again one-hand the ball, this time mercifully into the bottom of the cup.
Only one front-nine hole has seen a higher score posted, the par-5 eighth, where Frank Walsh made a 12 back in the second Masters in 1935.