Geoff Ogilvy estimated he gave up at five strokes to the field with poor putting in the first round of the Masters.
The 2006 US Open champion returned to Augusta National for the first time in three years and posted a two-over 74, leaving him 10 shots behind leader Jordan Spieth in a tie for 54th.
But with 34 putts in his round, including a horror three-putt on the 16th green after he hit his seven-iron to three feet, Ogilvy claimed he should have left Thursday inside the top 10 had he putted even halfway decently.
Only five players in the 97-man field had more putts than the Victorian. Matt Kuchar led the way with 24, Spieth among a few with 25, Aussies Jason Day and amateur Antonio Murdaca on 27 while 65-year-old Tom Watson had just 28 on his way to a 71.
“I just didn’t putt well. But what are you going to do? Hopefully it turns around,” Ogilvy said.
“I shouldn’t really talk about it all the time but it just gets frustrating when I feel like I played the course nicely, hit the right shots, didn’t hit it anywhere I’m not supposed to except over the first green and should have had three-under but had two-over.”
In his best Masters finish in 2011 (T4), the eight-time tour winner needed just 111 putts (fewer than 28 per round) and was ranked third in the field on Augusta’s lightning quick greens.
The same year on the US PGA tour he ranked 21st in strokes gained putting, but the magic has since dwindled.
Ogilvy ranked 46th in 2012, dropped dramatically to 155th in 2013, was 150th in 2014 and is at a lowly 205th so far this season.
“I have tried everything. I have tried not practising my putting, I’ve tried practising all day, I’ve tried practising a little bit – long putts, short putts, everything,” Ogilvy said.
“As Jordan proves it’s a confidence thing. He has an amazing stroke but he’s making them from everywhere at the moment and when you are making them from everywhere putting seems really easy.”