Tommy Fleetwood hails ‘really cool’ day as momentum builds before last round

Tommy Fleetwood feels like he has good momentum after climbing the leaderboard at the Open with a third-round 66 at St Andrews on Saturday.

The 2019 runner-up carded seven birdies as he moved to nine under par overall heading into the final day at the Old Course.

The Southport player shot a level-par 72 on Thursday but followed up with a 69 on Friday and is pleased with his improvement throughout the week.

Fleetwood started superbly with four birdies in his opening six holes
Tommy Fleetwood started superbly with four birdies in his opening six holes (Richard Sellers/PA)

“I got off to a really fast start, which I didn’t necessarily need to, but I wanted to, so that was great,” said the world number 35 after a round which began with four birdies in six holes and ended with three more in the closing five.

“It was just great to get a bit of momentum. The middle half of the round was playing pretty tough but the finish there felt really important.

“Just to get that out of the last few holes and finish on that felt really good. I’m so happy that I keep improving every day at the moment.

“You just can’t afford to be dropping back too much and giving away too many chances at this point when you know the leaders are a long way ahead of you and you’re trying to catch up.”

Fleetwood, who has not won a tournament on either of the two main tours for three years, hopes to keep moving in the same direction on Sunday.

He said: “I haven’t won a major yet and, to be honest, I haven’t won any kind of tournament for a while and my game hasn’t really been in a position to do so. But it’s coming back.

“I enjoy majors, I enjoy preparing for them. I think the tougher tests tend to fit my game. I don’t know why but it brings out the best in me.

“Just getting something going in an Open on a Saturday is really, really cool.

“It would be very special to be able to have a go again down the stretch on a Sunday at the Open.”