It took the roar of the crowd for defending champion Matt Fitzpatrick to realise he had knocked a hole-in-one at the par-3 15th during the second round of the U.S. Open on Friday.
The 28-year-old produced a shot for the ages to win his maiden major at Brookline a year ago and showed he still had magic in his hands when he delivered a shot straight onto the green at the Los Angeles Country Club.
The Briton glanced away after the drive but fans were able to catch his attention as they cheered with approval while the ball slid into the hole seamlessly.
Fitzpatrick is the first defending champion to make an ace at the U.S. Open.
“As soon as I hit it I thought that it got a good chance of going close anyway. Dead center. My hand was a bit sore afterward, I’ll be honest, after all the high fiving,” he told reporters.
His joy, however, was shortlived as he recorded a double bogey on the par-4 17th and he ended the day far from the top of the leaderboard as he carded an even par 70.
“I feel like if I can get the driver going I can shoot a really good score. But could not drive it worse at the minute,” he said.
Frenchman Matthieu Pavon and American Sam Burns each recorded an ace in the opening round on 15 as well.
This year marks only the second time in the tournament’s history in which there were three or more, after the 1989 tournament at Oak Hill.
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