Jordan Spieth suffers Masters meltdown with quadruple-bogey nine on 15th

Jordan Spieth of the United States reacts on the 18th green during the continuation of the first round of the 2024 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 12, 2024 in Augusta, Georgia
Jordan Spieth's nine on the 15th in round one left him towards the bottom of the field - Getty Images/Warren Little

Augusta National giveth but it also taketh away. Just ask Jordan Spieth, the 2015 champion, whose reputation as a Masters specialist took a few huge blows on Friday when he recorded a nine at the 15th on his way to a 79.

This is not the first time that Spieth – who has recorded four top-five finishes at the season’s first major since becoming its second youngest winner nine years ago – has come a cropper on the par-five, which is usually considered a birdie hole. In 2017, he also took a quadruple-bogey on the 550-yarder and this reprise has seen him make a bit of Masters history.

Justin Ray, the arch statistician from the Twenty First Group, reported that he is the only player in the last 20 years to post multiple scores of nine or worse on a hole at Augusta. The graphic charting of his nonagonal woe is some journey.

A shot tracker of Jordan Spieth's nine
How Spieth made a mess of the 15th

His drive was slightly tugged, but nothing disastrous and he hit his second to lay up distance. Spieth flew the green, but with his shortgame, no dramas. Except his chipped fourth rolled past the hole and kept going… and going… and going… all the way into the lake in front of the green. After taking a penalty drop he again flew the green with his sixth and rather understandably he left his chip short on this occasion, before two-putting.

It could have been worse. Seven years ago, another former winner in Sergio Garcia took a 13 on the 15th, having visited the water five times. The Spaniard actually holed a 12-footer to ensure that he only had the ignominy of recording the joint-worse score on any hole in the Masters apart from the worst.

Spieth did not look in the mood to take any consolation, however, and also bogeyed the 17th. But he made a spectacular par – courtesy of an audacious chip – on the 18th to break 80.

Still, only five players in the 89-man shot higher in the first round, including reigning Open champion Brian Harman with an 81. And his collapse was even more astounding than Spieth’s.

Harman, playing in his first major since he cruised to that six shot victory at Royal Liverpool last July, was shell-shocked as it all unravelled. The left-hander had been two-under through nine holes, but courtesy of three double bogeys and a triple bogey, came back in 47 shots – 11 over par. The 37-year-old’s inward half was the worst nine-hole score by any player under 50 for 15 years.