Whatever else Matt Fitzpatrick gets to take from the 123rd US Open, he at least has claimed a piece of history after being the first defending champion to make a hole-in-one in the American major.
The Englishman’s glory came on the 115-yard par-three, his sixth hole of the second round here at LA Country Club. His wedge shot took three bounces before spinning down the slope and into the centre of the cup.
Being the last to play in his group, Fitzpatrick started walking off the tee box while he watched the ball before releasing his emotions after realising it had dropped for his first-ever ace in the US.
With a smile from ear-to-ear, the 2022 US Open winner shared high-fives with playing partners Cameron Smith and American Sam Bennett as well as his caddie, Billy Foster. It is the third hole-in-one of the week at the LA Country Club, behind Matthieu Pavon’s and Sam Burns’ first-round feats, as the pros take advantage of the par 3 15th which can play as short as 78 yards.
Injured Woods to miss Open
Hoylake will be missing its Open hero after Tiger Woods confirmed that he will not play in the British major at the Wirral links next month.
Woods, 47, withdrew before the third round of the Masters in April, citing plantar fasciitis. The 2006 Hoylake champion underwent a subtalar fusion procedure in New York to address the problem caused by a previous fracture of his talus, a bone in the ankle joint.
The 15-time major winner did not contest May’s US PGA Championship at Oak Hill or this week’s US Open but Woods had hoped to defy the odds to compete at Hoylake, where he won a third Open title in 2006 in his first tournament since the death of his father Earl two months earlier.
However, the R&A has received notice that he will be absent. “We have been advised that Tiger won’t be playing at Royal Liverpool,” a statement said. “We wish him all the best with his recovery.”
Woods feared his leg would have to be amputated due to the serious injuries he suffered in a car accident in Los Angeles in February 2021.
He made a remarkable return to action 14 months later and finished 47th in the Masters, but withdrew from the US PGA following a third-round 79 and skipped the US Open before missing the cut in the 150th Open at St Andrews.