Sandy Lyle suffers an unwelcome first during opening round of his final Masters

Former champion Sandy Lyle suffered an unwelcome first on his last competitive start before retirement in the first round of the 87th Masters.

Lyle, who became the first British player to win at Augusta National in 1988 thanks to a memorable birdie on the 72nd hole, accidentally snapped a club as he struggled to an opening nine-over-par 81.

“First hole and it wasn’t even over my knee,” Lyle joked.

“I nearly always pull it off the first hole and this time I actually hit the other shape. The brain got in the way, blocked it to the right.

“I had a four-inch bough of a tree that comes down from somewhere and my ball was sitting right underneath it. I thought I could get the left-handed 8-iron to it, not full whack, but just a short, stubby bang.

“Timed it perfectly and obviously hit the bough. I hit a cameraman somewhere about 15 yards away and dropped down still in trouble. (I made) a hell of a five really.

“It’s the first club I’ve broken here. Taken 40 years to do it, but it’s happened.”

Lyle admitted his “substandard” golf meant making the halfway cut for the first time since 2014 was out of the question, adding: “That’s gone. That is totally gone.

“I’ve just got to try and maybe even shoot a 72 just to see if the game’s not too bad and give it a go. And at least don’t get in the way of the two people I’m playing with.”