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Imperfect ‘10’ for Els on first hole at Masters

No one can win a golf tournament on the first hole, but World Golf Hall of Famer Ernie Els showed everyone how to put yourself in an almost impossible position after only one hole, taking seven putts for a 10 on Thursday in the first round of the 80th Masters.

All but one putt was within 2 feet. One from 11 inches resulted in a miss that left him 4 feet for his next. He also had a one-handed swat that missed.

There have been four players in tourney history who have scored an “8” on the first hole, one that played among the top three most difficult holes of the day through 3 p.m., including Olin Browne and Scott Simpson in 1998, Billy Casper in 2001 and Jeev Milka Singh in 2007.

Els’ 10 isn’t close to the worst Masters hole score in competition. Tom Weiskopf once made “13” at the par-3 12th in 1980 and Tommy Nakajima matched that at the par-5 13th in 1998.

In 74 previous Masters’ rounds on the first hole, Els had never scored worse than a double-bogey “6” once, while making seven birdies, 56 pars and 10 bogeys. And he previously had only one hole with worse than a double bogey in his 21 previous Masters.

Els has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and four majors, two British Opens and two U.S. Opens.

Bubba Watson will paint over Confederate flag on General Lee

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Golfer Bubba Watson plans to paint over the Confederate flag on the roof of his vintage General Lee, ESPN reports.

Watson, a University of Georgia grad and Masters Champion, owns one of the original cars from the 1970s television show the "Dukes of Hazzard."

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Watson tweeted Thursday night, "All men are created equal, I believe that so I will be painting the American flag over the roof of the General Lee."

Watson bought the 1969 Dodge Charger for $110,000 several years ago.

Watson's removal of the flag comes after TV Land decided to pull re-runs of the "Dukes of Hazzard" from its network.

Controversy surrounding the Confederate flag came after the deadly shooting of nine people at a church in North Carolina.

The suspect in the shooting was photographed several times with the flag before the massacre.

For more stories on the Confederate flag debate, visit the AJC special section.

ESPN report ties golfer Phil Mickelson to money laundering, gambling

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An ESPN investigation claims golfer Phil Mickelson is implicated in an “illegal gambling operation” that handled bets on sporting events. The network's investigative unit Outside the Lines cites unnamed sources and court documents in its report.

After a former sports gambling handicapper pleaded guilty to laundering about $2.75 million, sources told Outside the Lines the money came from Mickelson.

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But Mickelson has not been legally accused of wrongdoing, is not charged with a crime and is not under federal investigation, according to ESPN.

Watch the ESPN report on mobile here

Jordan Spieth snags U.S. Open win, second major title

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Jordan Spieth won the 2015 U.S. Open Sunday, becoming the sixty golfer ever to win both the Open and the Masters in the same year.

Spieth is 21.

His championship win on Sunday was entertaining, to say the least.

Just moments before he birdied his final hole to secure the win, competitor Dustin Johnson missed a key putt that would have forced a playoff. 

"I'm in shock. Um, wow. I feel bad for Dustin, I had that feeling on 17, and just proud of the way we rebounded on 18," Spieth said Sunday. (Video via Fox Sports)

The big victory gives Spieth two back-to-back championships and a couple of big paychecks to go with them. He scored $1.8 million at both the Open and the Masters, bringing his career earnings to more than $15 million.

He's the youngest golfer to win the Open since Bob Jones in 1923, and the first to win the Masters and the U.S. open in the same year since Tiger Woods back in 2002. (Video via Nike)

But if all goes according to plan, Spieth isn't done making history just yet.

With two legs of the Grand Slam under his belt, Spieth will look to snag his third major win next month in the British Open. Sunday's win was his fifth in his last 18 starts worldwide. (Video via CBS)

This video includes images from Getty Images.

Tiger Woods is a distant memory at the U.S. Open

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Fifteen-year-old Cole Hammer is the third-youngest golfer in the history of the U.S. Open. The kid doesn't even need to shave yet.

And playing in the Open is a huge feat for the high school student because he grew up watching and loving the sport. He told reporters earlier in the week, "First memory I have of the U.S. Open is when Tiger won in 2008, when he did that fist pump on the 18th green." (Video via CNN

That was seven long years ago for Woods, who was 32 at the time. The 2008 U.S. Open is his last major championship title. 

It's too early to call Hammer golf's "next big thing," but it's pretty clear the sport is in search of the next big name.  

Woods, now 39, has been hampered by injuries, swing problems and girlfriends since his years of being on top of golf. 

ESPN reports Woods is entering this US Open at 60-1 odds — "his worst odds of any tournament he has entered since 2008." 

As author Shane Ryan told CBS Sports' Doug Gottlieb, Tiger's success 15 years ago is to blame for this youth movement.

"They are his generation. He spawned them. He inspired them. And, like you said, the irony is now they're the ones sort of beating him at his own game. It's created this fascinating generational shift," Shane Ryan said.

Woods is coming off the worst round of his pro career, shooting an 85 at Memorial earlier this month. 

"I was expecting to grind. That, to me, is the fun part," Woods said after the round.

He's remaining positive though, telling reporters before the tournament "things are starting to come together piece by piece." 

Twenty-one-year-old and current golf golden boy Jordan Spieth enters the U.S. Open as a favorite, in search of his second major of the year. Spieth won the Masters earlier this year.

Not-so-youthful, six-time U.S. Open runner-up Phil Mickelson also joins the pack, looking to capture the elusive title. The U.S. Open is the only major golf championship Mickelson's yet to win in his career. 

The tournament will be played at Chambers Bay Golf Course, just outside of Tacoma, Washington. It's the first time in the U.S. Open's 120-year history the tournament will be played in the Pacific Northwest. (Video via Pierce County Television

This video includes images from Getty Images and music from David Peck / CC BY NC 3.0​.

Michigan couple sinks hole-in-one on back-to-back shots

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Tony Blundy and Janet Blundy have done the impossible.

The Michigan couple sank a hole-in-one on the same hole, right after each other.

Tony Blundy's shot went in first. He used a 7-iron from 135 yards out to sink the first hole-in-one of his career.

"You're gonna be really mad at me when I put mine in," Janet Blundy said as she prepared to take her shot. Her premonition came true when the ball dropped into the cup 110 yards later.

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Witnesses confirmed the the shots to the Lansing State Journal.

"I want to call the Guinness Book of World Records — that's gotta be one," said Scott Kelly, owner of the Ledge Meadows Golf Course, to the paper.

Guinness does not keep hole-in-one records, according to the paper, but the chances of the Blundys' hole-in-one scenario occurring in a foursome are one in 26 million, an insurer from the National Hole-in-One Association said.

As for a pair getting a hole-in-one on the same hole on the same day?

"Astronomical," the adjuster said.

It's splitsville for Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn; celebs, fans react

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One of sports' biggest power couples is no more.

Golfer Tiger Woods and Olympic skiing star Lindsey Vonn announced Sunday that they have broken up after three years of dating.

>> PHOTOS: Celebrity splits and divorces 2015

Click here or scroll down to see how celebrities and fans reacted to the big breakup.

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<iframe src="//;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><script src="//;border=false"></script>[View the story "Tiger Woods, Lindsey Vonn split; celebs, fans weigh in" on Storify]

Photos: 2015 Masters Final Round

Photos: 2015 Masters Round 3

Photos: 2015 Masters Round 2

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