Japanese golfer shoots 19 on par-3 hole

TOKYO -- Superstitious or not, Japanese golfer Mitsuhiro Tateyama is likely to shudder whenever he comes across the number 19 in future after an horrific round Thursday at the Acom International.

Still, Tateyama could see the funny side after setting a Japanese record by taking 19 on a par-3 hole at the Ishioka Golf Club.

The 38-year-old found the rough with his second shot before hitting it into bushes where he took 14 shots to hack the ball out. At he least avoided three-putting.

It was the worst single-hole score since Norio Suzuki incorrectly signed for a 42, his nine-hole total, at a Japanese tournament in 1987. The previous worst for one hole was 15.

"There were more reporters around me than for the leader," Tateyama joked after his meltdown on the eighth. "That must be a world record or something."

Tateyama added: "My mind went blank. I lost count of the number of strokes I had. I couldn't even see the ball when it was in the bushes. I just wanted to get it out quick."

Tateyama, who has never won a Japanese tour title, finished with a 13-over-par 84 but surprisingly avoided carding the day's worst score after recovering with four birdies.