Dear oh dear, David

He won The Open in 2001 and was a former world No 1.

But the seventh hole on the first day of last month’s Open at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland for David Duval is not one he would wish to remember.

Duval scored 14 on the par five of 541 metres. It equalled the second-highest score for one hole in Open history and was the most taken in 69 years. He ended up with a score of 91 for the round, 20 over par, and was a clear last of the 156 competitors at the end of the first day’s play.

It was easily Duval’s worst round in a major championship over 25 years, which was highlighted by his Open win at Lytham in England in 2001.

But the 47-year-old is these days a part-time professional. He was ranked 2080th at the time, hadn't made a cut in four years and plays a limited schedule, concentrating on his successful career as a television analyst.

It was just Duval's fourth event of the season, yet he began brightly, birdieing the first two holes. Then it plummeted like a lead balloon, with a quadruple bogey on the fifth, followed by the horror show two holes later.

Duval hit two provisional balls off the seventh tee and thought he was playing his third ball until he realised at the green it was "the wrong Titleist 2".

The American is colour blind and, until a caddie in the group informed him, did not notice the number was red, when he was playing a ball with a black number.

Duval went back to where the wrong ball had been played but could not find the correct ball, so was obliged to return to the tee to start all over again.

Playing nine off the tee — after a two-shot penalty — he took six more shots. In all the madness, the marker initially put it down as a 15 and then, after the scorers erroneously decided the third provisional did not count, it was updated to a 14. Duval was as confused as anyone.

"It was all a bit of a blur and fairly unsettling, obviously," Duval said, before revealing that tendonitis in his arm had "almost made it impossible to continue".

"But I wasn't hurt enough not to finish," he added.

"Unless I'm really hurt or sick, I post my score. It's just one of those god-awful nightmare scenarios that happened today and I happened to be on the wrong end of it."

At least Hermann Tissie's 15 at the "Postage Stamp" in 1950 spared Duval the ultimate blushes. Tissie was 12 over par on that hole as the eighth at Troon is a par three.