The Los Angeles Country Club is hosting a major championship this week for the first time in its 127-year history. With the North Course featuring five par 3s and three par 5s, the field of professional and amateur players at the 123rd U.S. Open will experience a different hole layout than typically played weekly on tour, a design that requires good course management.
Matt Fitzpatrick won his first major in his eighth start at the U.S. Open and will compete for the fourth time in a major championship in the state of California. His best major finish in California is a tie for 12th in the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links, which will host the U.S. Women’s Open for the first time this July.
One of the players that will be in the field that week at Pebble is Englishwoman, Charley Hull. She was home schooled while competing in amateur events prior to joining the Ladies European Tour in 2013 and LPGA Tour in 2015. In contrast, Fitzpatrick came to America and played one season at Northwestern University before turning professional and competing on the DP World Tour and PGA Tour.
Both golfers have had success in Europe and America. Hull has recorded a total of five worldwide wins compared to Fitzpatrick with nine. He has won seven tournaments on the DP World Tour and two on the PGA Tour, the 2022 U.S. Open and 2023 RBC Heritage.
|Charley Hull vs. Matt Fitzpatrick
|3 - LET
|7 - DP World Tour
Hull was the youngest player to compete in a Solheim Cup competition when she was selected as a captain’s pick in 2013 at age 17. She is one of just five players who have competed in the last five editions of the Solheim Cup. Fitzpatrick has made the European Ryder Cup team twice in 2016 and 2021. This fall, the Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup competitions will take place in back-to-back weeks.
Another similarity between the golfers can be drawn when looking at their unique swings. Hull uses TaylorMade golf equipment and keeps her swing compact, allowing her to keep her lower body stable. She is able to generate speed by shifting her weight to her left side on the downswing, and it’s her athletic swing that has contributed to her 70.88% driving accuracy.
Using Ping woods and irons, Fitzpatrick has a natural stance and keeps the club face in great position throughout his swing. That consistency helps him maximize control of his golf ball which shows in his 58.21% driving accuracy. Fitzpatrick is a player that focuses on his statistics when looking to maximize his performance.
According to KPMG Performance Insights, Hull has a better average proximity to the hole than the field this year from 200-225 yards and 225-250 yards in a combined 24 shots over these distances. She has 11 attempts from 225-250 yards with an average proximity of 60 feet compared to the field average of 73.2 feet.
Comparatively, throughout the last two seasons, Fitzpatrick has found some extra length off the tee which has improved his approach shots from less than 200 yards.
|Charley Hull vs. Matt Fitzpatrick
|2023 Performance Statistics
|Top-25 Finishes in Cuts Made
|6 of 6
|7 of 10
|Strokes Gained Total
|Driving Accuracy Percentage
|Putting Average – Putts per GIR
Both Hull and Fitzpatrick have experienced physical struggles in 2023. Hull dealt with a foot injury earlier this season while Fitzpatrick was hampered by neck pain in the spring. For both players, injuries have impacted their game only in the short term. Fitzpatrick captured his second PGA Tour title at the RBC Heritage and Hull has finished inside the top 25 in all six starts when she’s made the cut.
As Fitzpatrick competes this week in the U.S. Open and Hull looks forward to competing at Pebble Beach, both athletes desire to show the best of their game while representing their home country. Having a chance to watch both grow their games, overcome injuries and reach their goals will certainly make English golf fans happy.