Els beans spectator, triple-putts from a foot out -- all on first hole
Ernie Els has rough opening day at the British Open, hitting spectator and shooting 79
Ernie Els has a no good, very bad first day at the British Open.
Andrew Redington / Getty Images Europe
Ernie Els had a no good, very bad first day at the British Open.
And it started on the first tee.
He managed to injure a spectator with his opening tee shot.
Els said he was "quite rattled" after he realized the man, who he estimated was in his 60s, was bleeding profusely from a shot that appeared to hit the spectator directly in the face.
"There was blood everywhere," Els said. "It was like a bullet coming at him. I obviously felt pretty bad about it. It wasn't nice. I was trying to hit it left, and should have told the starters to move the people back on the left side, but I didn't do that."
So far, not a good start ... then it got worse.
The two-time champion four-putted the first green, including a bizarre backhanded putt from over a foot.
Watch ... and cringe.
That triple-bogey 7 was only the start of Els' problems at Royal Liverpool on Thursday. He finished the day shooting a 7-over 79, including 42 on the front nine.
At least there was something to laugh about: Els had to gently prod a frog away from the tee box on the 18th with his driver.
But that chuckle may not have been enough. The South African is afraid he may have "put the jinx" on his playing partners — defending champion Phil Mickelson shot 74, and Masters winner Bubba Watson had a 76.