The 2000 Masters champion had a round in the 60s in his sights after getting to 3-under through four holes, which would have ended a 12-year drought of shooting 70 or higher.
After taking a penalty drop, Garcia hit a wedge - his fourth shot - past the pin and spun it off the green, back into the water.
Jason Day had a good laugh after hitting his ball into a fan's cup at the Masters on Thursday. So it's just unfortunate, but that's what it is. The previous worst was 11, by three players - Jumbo Ozaki in 1987, Ben Crenshaw in 1998 and Ignacio Garrido in 1999. He holed a 9-foot putt to avoid the highest score in Masters history.
The nightmare 15th led to Garcia carding a nine-over 81, leaving him in a tie for 85th place, a whopping 15 shots behind the 18-hole leader, Jordan Spieth. "You don't want to see anyone go through that".
Day, the victor of 11 PGA tour tournaments, is among the favorites after winning the Farmers Insurance Open in January and finishing second at Pebble Beach.
"It's definitely a course I feel I can win on", Reed said after the round. "If it carries two more yards, it's probably flawless", Garcia said. "I felt like throughout the past I've hit a lot of really good golf shots here, played really solid, but I always seem to leave myself just above every hole". And if it probably carries a foot less, it probably doesn't go off the green, but unfortunately I flew it on the flawless spot for it to come back. I thought it was ideal, straight at the flag.