Tiger finds water 3 times, makes 10 on 12th hole

  • Senior golf writer for ESPN.com
  • Covered golf for more than 20 years
  • Earned Evans Scholarship to attend Indiana University

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Tiger Woods made his worst score in his professional career on Sunday, taking 10 strokes at the par-3 12th hole after hitting his ball in Rae’s Creek three times during the final round of the Masters.

Woods, the defending champion who was well out of contention, hit his tee shot in the water, using an 8-iron from 155 yards that hit on the front of the green and rolled back into the water.

From just in front of the creek with 70 yards to the pin, he again saw his ball spin back into the water.

Dropping again and taking a second penalty stroke, Woods now went long with his fifth shot into the back right bunker. Facing an awkward stance, Woods thinned the ball out of the sand, back across the green and into the water.

After dropping for his seventh shot, he played his eighth again from the bunker, got the shot onto the green and two-putted for a 10.

Woods’ previous highest score was a 9 at the 1997 Memorial on the third hole at Muirfield Village Golf Club.

In major championships, he twice made 8s on par-4s, at the 1996 U.S. Open and the 1997 Open.

The 12th played an important role in Woods’ victory last year. It is where four contenders all hit into the water — Brooks Koepka, Ian Poulter, Francesco Molinari and Tony Finau.

Woods knocked a 9-iron onto the green to the middle left portion and then two-putted from 50 feet to tie for the lead for the first time in the tournament. He would go on to birdie the 13th, 15th and 16th holes and won by a shot over Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffele for his fifth Masters win and 15th major championship.

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