British Open 2023: Travis Smyth makes first-ever hole-in-one at Royal Liverpool's controversial new hole

July 21, 2023

There's been no shortage of talk surrounding Royal Liverpool's shortest—and newest—hole this week at the Open Championship. Dubbed "Little Eye," the par-3 17th has been big on controversy, including coach Pete Cowen warning it "could ruin somebody's career." But on Friday morning, it provided the shot of one man's career.

That would be Travis Smyth. The 28-year-old Asian Tour pro who played part of last year on the LIV Tour may not claim the claret jug this year, but he can always claim a Hoylake tournament first. Smyth didn't just tame the short par 3, he recorded the first-ever hole-in-one there during tournament play. Have a look at his perfect shot from 144 yards:

See? It's not so hard now is it?

No, but seriously, this is a tough little hole. On Day 1, it played as the eighth-hardest on the course despite playing to only 126 yards. And early in the second round it's playing as the second-hardest hole with that back-left pin.

Unfortunately for Smyth, his Friday 72 wasn't nearly enough to overcome an opening 77 as he'll miss the cut in his major championship debut. But at least with no Saturday tee time, there should be plenty of time on Friday night to celebrate the ace.