Masters contender implodes with 47 on second nine, tumbles down leaderboard

brian harman leans on a club during the first round of the 2024 masters

Brian Harman played the first nine holes of the 2024 Masters in two under. His back nine was a different story.

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Brian Harman entered the Masters in solid form. Since his Open Championship victory last summer, he’s notched four more top-10 finishes, including a T2 showing at last month’s Players Championship. At No. 8 in the OWGR, the 37-year-old is at a career peak.

Through his first nine holes of the week at Augusta National, Harman played exactly as you’d expect for a player of his stature. He made seven pars and two birdies, turning in two under and on the first page of the leaderboard. He was his usual unflappable self. But as so often is the case at Augusta National, disaster lurked.

After a par at the 10th, he made a bogey at the 11th and added another at the 12th. Two over at Amen Corner is not ideal, but it’s hardly an anomaly. Unfortunately for Harman, the worst was yet to come.

Things started to go off the rails on the following hole, the par-5 13th. After laying up to wedge distance, Harman flighted a shot over Rae’s Creek and into the middle of the green. The only problem was he didn’t take off enough spin and the ball zipped back into the water, resulting in double bogey.

Harman righted the ship momentarily over the next two holes with a pair of pars, but his nightmare back nine was not yet complete. He hit a water ball off the tee of the par-3 16th and added insult to injury with a three-putt to finish off a triple-bogey 6.

His next hole was no kinder. On the par-4 17th, Harman snipe hooked his drive well right on his way to another 6. His tee shot on the par-4 finisher again found the trees again, and he double bogeyed that hole as well.

brian harman's scorecard at the 2024 masters
Brian Harman’s back nine was an unmitigated disaster. Masters

In just nine holes, Harman torpedoed any chance of slipping on the green jacket this year. With two bogeys, two doubles and a triple, Harman posted a back-nine 47(!) and signed for an opening-round 81.

There’s an old saying that you can’t win a golf tournament in Round 1, but you can lose it. And in the opening round of this Masters Tournament, Harman proved that fact.

Zephyr Melton Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at