Sergio Garcia's troubles and travails at the 15th hole during the first round of The Masters all but ended his title defence before it really began.
The five consecutive balls he dunked in the water en route to an ugly 13 and an opening round of 81 also sparked a flurry of jokes on social media.
One, in particular, angered Sergio's wife, Angela.
In the midst of Garcia's toil at the 15th, Golf Channel reporter Rich Lerner tweeted this:
Sergio won't be naming his next kid Firethorn.— Rich Lerner (@RichLernerGC) April 5, 2018
This, of course, is in reference to the fact that he and Angela named their newborn baby daughter Azalea after the 13th hole at Augusta National, the hole that ignited his title charge last year. Firethorn is the name of the 15th.
Some saw the funny side. Others didn't - Angela amongst them.
Lerner was quick to apologise.
My apologies to Angela and Sergio for my poorly timed attempt to lighten the mood. Missed the mark with a flippant comment. No ill intent.— Rich Lerner (@RichLernerGC) April 6, 2018
Cue this from Angela.
Thank you for your apology, @RichLernerGC. I always appreciate a good sense of humor and a good joke, but when you reference a player’s family it’s not appropriate. If people really thought about it they might agree. All good and we can move on. https://t.co/sSxjwUnevu— Angela Garcia (@TheAngelaAkins) April 6, 2018
Sergio - who, it has to be said, handled the whole debacle at the 15th with class and promptly proceeded to birdie the par-3 16th - has since tweeted this in an attempt to finally defuse matters.
What happened on 15 @TheMasters yesterday was unfortunate for me and it hurt but I tried to handle it like a Masters Champion should. That same hole gave me that green jacket last year so we might end up naming our next kid Firethorn after all, funny man!😉 https://t.co/vMIDTMGhrf— Sergio Garcia (@TheSergioGarcia) April 6, 2018
Some, though, maintain that Lerner's apology was unnecessary, including some of Garcia's fellow PGA Tour players.
It was funny just so many sensitive ppl. I still love you. One of the kindest ppl in the biz. Everyone will be ok. 😎😎😎— Harold Varner III (@HV3_Golf) April 6, 2018
I was going to give my sons golf names but I didn’t think “bogey” and “doublebogey” would work. #azaleaisabeautifulname#richisagreatguy#golfishard#itllbeoktomorrow— Greg Chalmers (@GregChalmersPGA) April 6, 2018
Of course, no matter what anybody thinks, Sergio will ultimately have the last laugh here.
He does, after all, have a rather nice green jacket to wear for the rest of time.
A fair joke or in poor taste? You decide!
Do you think Rich Lerner has anything to apologise for? Do you think his tweet was funny or crass? Is Angela right to be annoyed? Leave your thoughts in our Comments section below.