April 8, 2016 / 1:12 AM / in 2 years

Fowler cannot Master gusting winds cards 80

Apr 7, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Rickie Fowler hits out of a bunker on the 10th hole during the first round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - While most of the favorites were making strong starts to the 80th Masters on Thursday, world number five Rickie Fowler was an exception, stumbling to an eight-over 80 and free-falling to the bottom of the Augusta leaderboard.

Baffled by the gusting winds, Fowler got his day off to a disastrous start with a double bogey at the first but quickly got his round headed in the right direction with birdies at two, three and five.

Making the turn at level par, the 27-year-old American looked poised to make a back nine move into contention but then the wheels fell off with a triple bogey at 13, where his third shots found the creek guarding the green.

A double bogey at 16 and bogeys at 10, 14 and 18 compounded his misery.

“Golf’s not an easy game,” lamented Fowler, after his second worst ever round at a major.

”Golf’s tough, it is a fine line, especially at this place. I mean, I go play a decent back nine and I‘m three-under par.

“It can go either way and it can definitely go the other way, the high number way, a lot easier than it can the low. They can add up quick.”

A winner in Abu Dhabi and runner-up in Phoenix, Fowler headed to the practice range immediately after his round sitting 14 shots back of clubhouse leader Jordan Spieth, the defending champion.

Editing by Andrew Both

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