Tiger Woods' bid for eight PGA Tour wins on the trot was hanging by a thread in the Accenture World Match Play in Arizona.
The world No 1 was completely out of sorts with his driver, blasting the ball into water and twice into the desert to go four down to Aussie Nick O'Hern after six holes.
Left hander O'Hern shocked Woods in the second round of this event at La Costa two years ago.
And he looked odds on to repeat that unlikely victory in cool, blustery conditions at The Gallery near Tucson.
While Woods won the par three eighth with a birdie to cut the deficit to three holes, he was still facing a massive uphill battle against the steady Australian.
The American's woes started at the fourth, where he sliced his drive into a lake and took a double bogey six.
Left hander O'Hern then turned the screw by draining a 15 footer for a winning birdie at the par five fifth.
But worse was to follow for Woods at the sixth, where he carved another missile behind a cactus and finished with another double bogey to go three down.
He followed that with another wayward tee shot into a bush at the seventh, blasting his next shot over the green into a patch of cactus with O'Hern less than two feet away in two.
While Woods has won 55 times on the PGA Tour and was bidding for his eighth US win on the trot, O'Hern has won just once.
That came in last November's Australian PGA Championship - but only after a four hole play-off with Peter Lonard.
Meanwhile, Justin Rose was heading for an easy victory over Charles Howell in the opening match of the day.
The English ace raced into a five up lead at the turn before Howell got back to four down with six to play with a birdie at the 12th.