Pro’s Masters shank reminder of par-3 12th hole’s long history of rattling players

robert streb tee shot at 12

Robert Streb's tee shot at the par-3 12th on Thursday.

getty images/masters.com

How many times have we seen it at the devilish 12th?

There was Arnold Palmer, in 1959, knocking two tee balls into Rae’s Creek on his way to a triple-bogey 6 that cost him the green jacket. There was Tom Weiskopf, in 1980, rinsing five balls at 12, resulting in a 13 — yes, 10 over. And then, more fresh in our memory banks, there was Jordan Spieth’s stunning quad in 2016 and Tiger’s 10 just five months ago.

There also have been shots that haven’t even reached the water.  

Like Jack Nicklaus’s tee ball, in the final round in 1964, that shot so far right off his clubface that it missed the creek entirely. “Good gravy!” cried the announcer on the highlight reel from that round. “That’s unbelievable! He shanked that shot!”

A view of the 12th green at Augusta National from the tee box.
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At virtually every Masters, it seems, we’re reminded of what the cold-sweats-inducing, 155-yard 12th hole can do to even the best players in the world, and it didn’t take long for that reminder to surface at this year’s edition.

In the opening round Thursday, Robert Streb stepped to the 12th tee at one over.

“Ten-fingered grip — no glove a la Fred Couples and Corey Pavin,” Trevor Immelman, the 2008 champion, said on the Masters streaming coverage. “… but look out, that one came out of the heel off the club a bit too much.”

A lot too much. The ball banana’ed hard right, into the grassy expanse that connects 12 to the par-5 13th.

Immelman paused for a beat, then added:

“Even they do it folks, even they do it.”

Credit Streb, who did just about all you can do in such a humbling moment: he shook his head and laughed it off. Streb played his second shot to the back fringe from where he needed two putts for a bogey that he’d like to forget, but probably won’t for some time.

If Streb was rattled, he didn’t show it. A hole later, he made a lovely up-and-down from off the back of the green for a birdie 4.

He signed for a three-over 75.

Alan Bastable

Golf.com Editor

As GOLF.com’s executive editor, Bastable is responsible for the editorial direction and voice of one of the game’s most respected and highly trafficked news and service sites. He wears many hats — editing, writing, ideating, developing, daydreaming of one day breaking 80 — and feels privileged to work with such an insanely talented and hardworking group of writers, editors and producers. Before grabbing the reins at GOLF.com, he was the features editor at GOLF Magazine. A graduate of the University of Richmond and the Columbia School of Journalism, he lives in New Jersey with his wife and foursome of kids.