Defending champ Fitzpatrick aces 15th at US Open

The hole-in-one count kept climbing Friday at the US Open, where defending champion Matt Fitzpatrick aced the 120-yard par-three 15th in the second round.

England’s Fitzpatrick became the third player in two days to notch a hole in one at one of Los Angeles Country Club’s more intriguing holes after France’s Matthieu Pavon and American Sam Burns did so on Thursday.

Fitzpatrick notched his first hole in one as a professional, and became the first defending champion to ace a hole at the US Open.

Fitzpatrick didn’t see his tee shot at 15 spin into the cup, although he felt it was “dead center” coming off his sand wedge.

He was alerted by the roar from the gallery and let out a yell himself, high-fiving playing partners Cameron Smith and Sam Bennett.

“My hand was a bit sore afterward, I’ll be honest, after all the high fiving,” Fitzpatrick said.

The eagle helped ensure that Fitzpatrick will play the weekend. After an even par second round, he was one-over for the tournament with the cutline projected at two-over.

“It means a lot,” Fitzpatrick said. “Obviously I really wanted to play here all week. Defending champion here makes it a little bit more special to play out the week, regardless of the position.”

The only other US Open in which there were three or more holes-in-one on one hole was in 1989 at Oak Hill, when there were four at the par-three sixth.

So far this week, the 15th hasn’t even been played at its shortest potential set-up. It played at 78 yards during the 2018 Walker Cup amateur matches. (AFP)