AUGUSTA -- Defending champion Tiger Woods made a nightmare 10, his worst score on any major hole, on the par-3 12th at Augusta National in Sunday's final round of the Masters.
The 15-time major winner blamed the hole's well-known swirling winds for the humbling performance, which saw him send three balls into Rae's Creek.
"This sport is awfully lonely sometimes," Woods said. "You have to fight it. No one is going to bring you off the mound or call in a sub. You have to fight through it.
"That's what makes this game so unique and so difficult mentally. We've all been there. Unfortunately I've been there and you just have to turn around and figure out the next shot and I was able to do that coming home."
Woods closed with birdies on five of his final six holes to salvage a closing four-over 76 and finish on one-under 287, but it couldn't dim the shocker at the tricky 155-yard layout in the heart of fabled Amen Corner.
The five-time Masters champion found the water in front off the green off the tee after the winds changed.
"I committed to the wrong wind," Woods said. "The wind was off the right for the first two guys, and then when I stepped up there, it switched to howling off the left. I also got ahead of it and pushed it.
- 'So alone' -
"From there I hit a lot more shots and had a lot more experiences there in Rae's Creek."
Woods punched his third in the creek again, then found the safety of a bunker beyond then green, only to blast out and roll the ball down a slope and back into the water.
He finally chipped onto the green with his eighth and two-putted to end the horror show.
"You're so alone out there and you have to figure it out," Woods said.
Woods was bothered by back issues for the second day in a row, using his wedge to support his weight as he climbed out of the bunker after finishing his sand blasting.
Woods took some solace in knowing he only has to wait until April for his next chance at a sixth green jacket.
"Hopefully if everything continues the way it is going right now, then we're able to have this event in April," Woods said.
Woods, who turns 45 next month, says back issues are just another mental obstacle he must overcome to stay motivated.
"There are days when mentally it's harder to push than others just because physically my body just has moments where it just doesn't work like it used to," Woods said.
"No matter how hard I try, things just don't work the way they used to, and no matter how much I push and ask of this body, it just doesn't work at times.
"It's more difficult than others to be motivated at times because things just ache and have to deal with things I've never had to deal with before."
© Agence France-Presse