Els, runner up in 2004, missed the cut last year
Ernie Els headed the casualty list of big-name players that failed to make the weekend cut after two rounds of the 72nd Masters at Augusta.
The world number three carded two 74s for four over to miss the cut by one shot, as did Spain's Sergio Garcia (76, 72) and England's Luke Donald (73, 75).
American veteran Fred Couples, 48, also ended on four over to end a record of 23 straight cuts made at Augusta.
Gary Player propped up the field on 17 over but vowed to return after a 78.
The 72-year-old nine-time major champion, playing for a record 51st time at the Masters, had resolved to call it a day if he did not score in the 70s in his second round.
The three-time champion then went out and parred the last five holes to add a 78 to his 83.
World number four Steve Stricker crashed out after stumbling to a 77 to seal his fate as he missed the cut by six strokes.
Spain's two-time former Masters winner Jose Maria Olazabal also missed out on four over, while other victims included Mark O'Meara, par-three contest winner Rory Sabbatini, Tom Watson, Bernhard Langer, Ben Crenshaw and Fuzzy Zoeller.
Els, who was the runner up in 2004 but missed the cut last year, dumped swing coach David Leadbetter in favour of Tiger Woods's former guru Butch Harmon before arriving in Augusta.
Couples has never missed a cut at the Masters before but admitted that he was more disappointed with his form at Augusta this year.
"It's been a long time, and it's been fun," he said. "The reason I have that streak is because I won in 1992, which was the big honour, and to make the cuts, to be quite honest with you, I don't consider that great of a deal.
"Playing well in this tournament is my goal. Going out on Friday my goal was certainly to make this cut but I don't know anyone who goes to a tournament where they're hoping to make the cut.
"I'm kind of disappointed to miss the cut. But I'm really disappointed with the way I played."