An Eight and an Ace- the Tale of the Second Morning at the U.S. Open

Matthew Fitzpatrick, 2023 U.S. Open,(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Matthew Fitzpatrick, 2023 U.S. Open,(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images) /

If Summer Fridays are a fever dream concept at your workplace and you were not amongst the crowd tuning into early second round coverage of the 123rd U.S. Open Championship, look no further for some of the top headlines you missed.

The Course Takes DJ as Its Victim on No. 2

If the opening round’s record-breaking low scores turned you off of what is supposed to be one of the most challenging and psyche-breaking tournaments, you may enjoy hearing what Dustin Johnson went through early in his round.

The two-time Major winner and now LIV member entered the par-4 second hole at six-under for the tournament and was just two shots back of the lead after recording par on the first hole. His performance on the second hole, however, would not reflect his stellar 64 recorded in round one.

Johnson’s drive on the 497-yard second hole went left into a bunker, where his second shot would only take him 95 yards to the rough. From there, he ended up in the much-feared barranca, where he would ultimately take a penalty drop to the fairway. The trouble did not stop there.

It’s the U.S. Open, why should it?

Johnson’s fifth shot went well over the green, giving him a chip shot that went 28-feet past the hole. After missing his putt to record a seven, D.J. accepted his humanity and recorded an 8 on his new least-favorite hole at the course.

The second hole took Johnson from fourth place to 15th. If you were starting to relate to a Major winner and golfing great though, don’t get ahead of yourself. D.J.’s resilience shone through as he made a birdie on the par-4 third hole to get his round back under control.

He would then go on to record only one bogey (on the par-3 fourth hole) and finished even-par with a 70; three back of the lead at the time. He’s projected to enter the third round in the top ten.

Johnson’s second round finish was quite the finish in such a mentally focused game, where many may have let an early 8 be worn like a scarlet letter through the rest of their round.

In his opening round, D.J. hit all 13 fairways, commenting post-round about the importance of driving the ball well in order to stay in contention.

He then reiterated how important finding fairways is after his disaster on the 2nd hole on Friday.

"“Just think about hitting the fairway on No. 3. Obviously I’ve still got a lot of golf holes, and itcould have easily gone the other way after No. 2.”– Dustin Johnson on responding after 2nd hole disaster."

A great reminder of just how quickly the game of golf can evolve over the course of a tournament.

The par-3 15th Hole Gets its Third Ace of the Tournament

If you were on ace watch today, hopefully, you did not miss the tournament’s third ace- just like the owner of the hole-in-one did.

Defending U.S. Open Champion Matt Fitzpatrick was business as usual as he began to walk away after hitting his tee shot on the par-3 15th; until the roar of the Los Angeles Country Club crowd alerted him he had just slam dunked for his first career ace.

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The surprise the 28-year-old felt was palpable as his smile grew upon the realization. Like finding a $100 bill on a rainy day. Or, like starting your round with an ace when you finished one over the day before.