Travis Smyth strikes ‘PERFECT’ hole-in-one at the Open Championship on the infamous 17th hole

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Travis Smyth drains ‘PERFECT’ hole-in-one at the infamous 17th hole to shoot the first Ace at The Open this year – but the axed LIV Golf star still looks set to miss the cut

  • Travis Smyth was left fist-pumping the air after hitting a hole-in-one at the Open
  • He struck the ball beautifully with his nine-iron to drop the ball in with a bounce 
  • But despite the hole-in-one, he finished his first two rounds at eight-over-par  

Travis Smyth took out his nine-iron and, from the tee on Royal Liverpool’s now infamous 17th hole, set his ball fizzing into the wind.

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All he wanted was to find the middle of the green and move quietly on. The Little Eye, with its cavernous bunkers and humps and hollows, had driven him to distraction 24 hours earlier and he stomped away with a double bogey five.

This time, though, it would be different. Smyth, a journeyman Australian who spends his time on the Asian Tour, made a sweet connection. 

The crowd gasped at its trajectory and then, after it landed with a bounce and some spin, the roared with delight. The Little Eye had a big moment of history.

Smyth became the first player at the 151st Open to record a hole-in-one. It wasn’t going to be enough to prevent him missing the cut, as he finished on +8, but this was a handsome form of compensation, a moment that will live with him forever.

Travis Smyth (left) fist-pumped the air after hitting a sensational hole-in-one on the 17th at the Open

Travis Smyth (left) fist-pumped the air after hitting a sensational hole-in-one on the 17th at the Open

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The Australian recorded the first hole-in-one of the championship, after sweeping through the ball with his nine-iron on the infamous 'Little Eye' hole

The Australian recorded the first hole-in-one of the championship, after sweeping through the ball with his nine-iron on the infamous ‘Little Eye’ hole

‘It was amazing – a little bittersweet, actually, because the day before had been a shocker,’ said Smyth, a 28-year-old who secured his place at Royal Liverpool by virtue of a third-place finish in the exotically named World City Championship in Hong Kong.

‘It was the perfect distance, the perfect wind and the perfect club. Halfway through the shot, I was thinking to myself: “oh, this is going to be good”.’

And it most certainly was. He floated down the 18th, with the ball he had used for his ace safely tucked away in his pocket, and waiting for him at the back of the green was his compatriot, the 2022 Open Champion Cameron Smith, who waited to indulge in some leg-pulling.

‘Good on you, mate,’ said the man who tamed St Andrews 12 months ago. ‘You played it in even (over the two days), then!’

Smyth looks set to miss the cut after going eight-over par for his second round eight-over par

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Smyth looks set to miss the cut after going eight-over par for his second round eight-over par 

The Australian spoke of the feat after his round and said it 'was bittersweet' after having a 'shocker' on the same hole the day before

The Australian spoke of the feat after his round and said it ‘was bittersweet’ after having a ‘shocker’ on the same hole the day before

The pair know each other through their dealings with LIV Golf and Smyth had a spell last year, after its inception, when he won the best part of a $1million in the first three events. 

For all the money, however, some things – namely a hole-in-one at your first Major – are priceless.

‘It’s super cool, isn’t it?’ said Smyth. ‘I came here last Friday and thought it was a great hole. 

‘The punishment around it (if you miss the green) is big but it makes for great golf. I didn’t play good this week but this is as good as you can feel after missing the cut.’



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