It's genuinely the stuff of golfing nightmares. You're playing in the Masters, with thousands in the crowds and millions more watching on television at home. It's taken you three shots to reach the green, but at least you're only two feet from the hole. Hole this, escape with a par and you're golden.
But then the putt slips by, leaving another two-footer for bogey. Another miss. You go to tap in the return putt – this time for a double-bogey – but that one also misses, ending up back where you started. You take a deep breath, eyes on the ball, it misses again. You glance at your caddie. You try again. Another miss. Whatever you do, the ball just won't go home. You're losing count. The ball is now just six inches from the hole. You go to tap it in one-handed. It lips out. It's barely stopped rolling when you tap it – again one-handed – back towards the hole. It disappears, at last.
Seven putts from two feet. A 10 on the opening hole (the worst first-hole score in the 80 years of the Masters).
Please, R&A, USGA, bring back long putters.
To have the heart and resolve not to walk straight off shows that Ernie Els has one hell of a strong spirit. The fact he shot level-par for the remaining eight holes of the front-nine is as impressive a feat of mental strength as you'll ever see in a golf tournament.
We would love it if Ernie makes the cut.