Tommy Fleetwood hopes to bring the Claret Jug ‘home’ after 29-year absence
Tommy Fleetwood is hoping to go one better than the England football team and bring the Claret Jug ‘home’ after a 29-year absence.
The Southport golfer is aiming to become the first English golfer since Nick Faldo in 1992 at Muirfield to win the Open Championship.
England’s wait for a winner on English soil stretches back even further to 1969 with Tony Jacklin at Royal Lytham and – after Sunday’s Euro 2020 final disappointment – Fleetwood said: “I think it’s just an amazing opportunity. It’s very special.
“I’ve said it many times: for me personally there’s three Opens – Birkdale, Hoylake, Royal Lytham that I could have the chance of playing them all and they’re all within 30, 40 minutes of where I grew up.
“People go their whole lives without playing any kind of event that close to home and there’s three chances there of the biggest event in the world being that close for me.
“It’s nerve-racking, yeah. It’s like a different element to the event, but I love it.
“It’s always going to be my home event and I consider myself very lucky that I get to play this tournament as one of the home favourites and to get the support that I do.”
The nearest Fleetwood has come to winning the Open was last time out at Royal Portrush in 2019 when he started in the final group alongside eventual champion Shane Lowry.
But he never really got close as the Irishman began with a four-shot lead and had extended his advantage to six by the close as his partner had to settle for second place – his second major runner-up finish after the 2018 US Open.
However, while Fleetwood classed England being beaten finalists as an achievement, he is not so convinced he will view another second-place finish at Royal St George’s this week as success.
“I don’t see it as failure but runner-up at the Open would equal my best-ever finish in a major and last time I did it it hurt,” he added.
“I’ve finished second in two majors before so I would be equalling what I’ve done over the last two or three years.
“It would be fine but I’d be disappointed like the (England) guys are.
“I think using the word ‘failure’ is sometimes a bit harsh. I don’t want to finish second and the guys didn’t want to finish second but I think it should still be acknowledged that they did absolutely amazing.
“Our best result in a major tournament in however many years, I find it hard to admit that it is a failure. I think it’s progress.
“I know what it feels like to come very close to your dream and not achieve it so I sort of can relate to what the guys are feeling in a way – just without the added nation that’s behind them.”
Adam Scott relishing chance to experience a career first at the Australian Open
The tournament sees men, women and golfers with disabilities competing on the same course at the same time.
Tiger Woods backs up Rory McIlroy and says LIV Golf boss Greg Norman ‘has to go’
Woods called McIlroy a ‘true leader’ as he spoke out about the Saudi-funded breakaway.
Tiger Woods withdraws from Hero World Challenge due to foot problem
The former world number one has not played since the Open Championship in July.
Tiger Woods to partner son Charlie in next month’s PNC Championship
Woods has not played since the Open Championship in July.
I want to fulfil my dreams – Adam Scott in no mood to lower expectations
Scott is seeking a third Australian PGA Championship title this week in his native Queensland.
Nicolas Colsaerts named a vice-captain for Europe’s Ryder Cup team
The Belgian joins Thomas Bjorn and Edoardo Molinari on Luke Donald’s staff.
Ireland’s Ancient East: Golf attractions alongside stunning beauty of Kildare
Ireland has a rich mix of tourist attractions across its varied and beautiful terrain.
Rory McIlroy crowned top golfer in Europe despite Jon Rahm claiming Dubai title
The Spaniard’s two-shot victory over England’s Tyrrell Hatton and Sweden’s Alex Noren was his third in six years at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
Leona Maguire shoots day’s best to tie Lydia Ko in chasing LPGA’s largest prize
Maguire is chasing her second title while Ko is close to claiming her second straight LPGA Tour player of the year.
Rory McIlroy edges ahead of Matt Fitzpatrick in race to be European number one
McIlroy’s third round of 65 at the DP World Tour Championship put him back ahead of his rival in the rankings.