Seve Ballesteros struggles on Masters return
Augusta National may have beaten up Seve Ballesteros but it would never embarrass the twice former Masters champion.
Playing his first tournament in seven months and battling perennial back problems, Ballesteros's scores at the year's first major reflected his inactivity.
He carded rounds of 86 and 80.
But as the elegant Spaniard walked up to the 18th green to warm applause on Friday there was no evidence of his struggles, the scoreboard towering over the closing hole leaving a blank space beside his name.
Returning to Augusta for the first time since 2003, Ballesteros's 22-over 166 total will stand out as his worst in 28 Masters but he said afterwards it would not be his last.
"It's great, great to be back, that was my victory just to be back," said Ballesteros, who has not survived the Masters cut since 1996.
"There's no reason why not (to come back), this is a wonderful place, I like it and I really enjoy it."
Winner of the green jacket in 1980 and 1983 and twice a runner-up, Ballesteros flashed glimpses of his old form with a par-birdie-par start to his round.
But playing on a lengthened, fast-running course made even more demanding by the dry conditions, Ballesteros was left once again fighting for a respectable score, carding six bogeys and three pars on his inward nine.
"Augusta has always been very tough," said Ballesteros, who will celebrate his 50th birthday on Monday.
He added: "For a few reasons I wasn't really prepared. I didn't practise very much.
"I came early and tried to get some kind of form. I was feeling okay on Monday then I lost my confidence on Tuesday and everything went wrong.
"It was just a lack of competition, it's been seven months."