Golfer scores a 17 (yes, 17!) at the first hole on European Tour event

Twitter has reacted with much mirth to Pavlov's dog of a score
Twitter has reacted with much mirth to Pavlov's dog of a score

For those of us who love to ‘play’ the Ancient Game (that’s golf to the rest of you) we know how vexing and thoroughly demoralising it can be.

Start the round with a bogey and think ‘hey, that’s not too bad… we only just got out of the car’, before possibly parring the second and thinking ‘yes! This is going to be a great day’… before seeing it all dismantling like a game of Jenga was we double, triple and maybe even quadruple-bogey our way through the rest of the round.

However, we do that in front of the pitiless eyes of our so-called ‘friends’ and it’s humiliation enough – so spare a thought what it must be like as a professional golfer in the full glare of the watching TV audience.

Today Russian golfer Andrey Pavlov had a nightmare start to his second round at the Lyoness Open in Austria after carding a 17 at the first hole.

Yes, that’s a 17.

The 28-year-old, who finished 26-over at this event 12 months ago and is playing his first European Tour event of the year on a tournament invitation, dumped six balls into the water at the 506-yard par-five opening hole.

That tied the joint-second worst number of strokes on a single hole in European Tour history - joining Chris Gane, who made the same score at Gleneagles in 2003, with only Philippe Porquier's 20 at the 1978 French Open worse.

Pavlov began the day at the Diamond Country Club one under after a 71 and in with a chance of making his first-ever cut after 14 previous attempts on both the European and Challenge Tours. Things were looking good.

But after his soul-destroying 17 he immediately slumped to 11 over, although that was still not bad enough to be dead last.

That dubious honour belongs to Austrian pro Benjamin Weilguni.