21 Jul 2023 | Professional golf |
'A moment I'll never forget': Smyth's ace at the Open
by Golf Australia
Travis Smyth’s first Open Championship experience was in its final throes before an unexpected highlight arrived to thrill a packed crowd at Royal Liverpool.
At 10-over-par making the cut was out of question for Smyth when he pulled out a nine-iron at the short 17th which has quickly created a reputation as a hole where anything can happen.
In round one, Smyth was a victim of “Little Eye”, making a double-bogey five, one shot less than fellow Australian Lucas Herbert who had come to the 17th as joint Open leader.
But in round two, Smyth’s “chippy” tee shot drew in with the wind towards the pin and took two bounces before disappearing for a hole-in-one – the first in Open history at Royal Liverpool’s newest addition and the third of his professional career.
It was greeted by one of the biggest crowd roars of the opening 36 holes.
“It was amazing, a little bittersweet actually,” Smyth said. “I had a shocker the day before, made double-bogey and I was just really happy I hit a good shot because I was just so disappointed from the day before.
“It was a huge surprise went in the hole. It was just the perfect distance, the wind and the club and it all came together. It was a moment I’ll never forget.
“About halfway through the flight I thought ‘this is going to be good’. It looked amazing.”
Smyth eventually signed for a 1-over 72 to end the championship at 8-over.
One of the first to congratulate him for his ace post-round was defending Open champion Cam Smith, on his way to beginning his day two.
“That was pretty cool,” he said.
The ball will be heading home to Sydney as a special souvenir of Smyth’s first Open.
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