ERIN, Wis. – Tommy Fleetwood didn’t win the U.S. Open, but he hopes his experience in the heat of battle will help prepare him for a victory in the not-too-distant future.
Fleetwood started the final round at Erin Hills as one of three players within a shot of Brian Harman, and he played alongside eventual champion Brooks Koepka. Fleetwood birdied the second hole, but as Koepka remained on cruise control the Englishman was undone by three front-nine bogeys that effectively ended his title chances.
Fleetwood played his final 10 holes in 2 under to close out an even-par 72 and salvage solo fourth place, five shots behind his playing partner.
“There wasn’t any bad shots from (No.) 9 onwards,” Fleetwood said. “I was 2 over early on, and it’s easy to just get wound up or lose hope or just lose it because you want to win the U.S. Open. But I was very pleased, and from 9 on I was good.”
The result continues a strong season for Fleetwood, one that includes a win at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and a runner-up finish at the WGC-Mexico Championship. After starting the year ranked No. 99, he is projected to jump to No. 21 when the new rankings are published.
Fleetwood had made the cut in only one of his seven prior major starts, that being the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay when he tied for 27th. Afforded a place under the bright lights of contention in a major setting, he felt he acquitted himself well.
He also has some lessons to build upon starting next month, when The Open is held at Royal Birkdale – a short drive from his home in Southport, England.
“I’ve never contended for a major before. So when you get to Saturday and Sunday, you’ve got to see how you react and how you feel,” he said. “I enjoyed playing late on Saturday and Sunday and then next time, whenever that comes and I play well enough to get myself in contention, I know that inside myself I feel fine. Whether I play well or not, that’s a different story. But I feel fine.”