Ernie Els faced one of the toughest moments of his career on Thursday at the Masters, 6-putting the first green, missing five putts of 3 feet or less to take a 9 on the first hole.
He shot 2 over par the rest of the way to shoot a first-round 80, courageously spoke afterward about how he’s dealing with having the yips and then went to the practice putting green and drained short putt after short putt with complete confidence.
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Then, facing a 2-footer for bogey on the first hole again on Friday, Els pulled his putt and didn’t scare the cup.
At the 1st today:
Hang in there, Ernie. pic.twitter.com/6fKNqe9Mj7
— Pinehurst Resort (@PinehurstResort) April 8, 2016
Fortunately, Els managed to make the 6-inch putt coming back for double bogey, but the damage was done to a player already facing a mental block with the putter from close-in.