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Tour Tales

Masters 2024: No one has ever gotten off to a worse start at the Masters than this PGA Tour winner

April 11, 2024

Harry How

The first hole at Augusta National, Tea Olive, is not exactly a gentle opener. With a cumulative stroke average of 4.24, the par 4 ranks as the sixth-toughest in Masters history. But while there have been plenty of shaky starts there—Stuart Appleby's double bogey as the 54-hole leader in 2007 and Ernie Els' SIX-putt in 2016 come to mind—no one had a rougher beginning than Greg Chalmers.

Leading into this week's event, the past PGA Tour winner shared an amazing story about his first—and only—Masters start in 2001. While the Aussie managed to make only a bogey, he nearly took out a pair of patrons on his first two shots.

Chalmers also thinks he's part of the reason why patrons are no longer allowed to walk down the left side of the hole. It should be noted that they are allowed to walk down the left side, but a good ways back from the fairway. In any event, here's how he tells it.

"I’ve waited my entire life to play Augusta National," Chalmers writes. "I’ve taken 2 swings and hit 2 patrons." Poor guy. What a wild story.

Chalmers missed that cut that week, but as you can see by that photo of him and his dad caddieing for him at the Par 3 Contest, he still had a great week. Especially because he didn't kill anyone.

Anyway, good luck to all the nervous tournament rookies this year on handling their first-tee jitters. And the next time they see Greg, they might want to thank him for giving them at least one less thing to worry about.