British hopes will be resting on Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood and Justin Rose at The Open this weekend, after all three men played their way into contention on Friday.
Fleetwood briefly held the clubhouse lead on seven under after firing a four-under-par 67 on Friday, mixing six birdies with just two dropped shots in a round that left him very pleased.
Third birdie in four holes and Tommy Fleetwood is tied for the lead. 👌pic.twitter.com/5rqjcfKqw1
— Golf Digest (@GolfDigest) July 19, 2019
The 28-year-old has come close to winning a major before, most notably when he finished runner-up in the US Open last year, but he’s still looking for that breakthrough first win.
“It was good. It was different yesterday. Yesterday I felt like I was a lot more stress-free than today,” he said.
“Today I made two or three really good putts.
“I’m happy with the challenge, to be honest with you. It’s not all going to be singing and dancing through a major.
— The Open (@TheOpen) July 19, 2019
“I’m happy that I had a chance to scrap today and actually did really well, was up to the test and, again, did a lot of good stuff.
“But overall, yeah, two really good rounds of golf to start.”
Fleetwood wasn’t the only Englishman with the word ‘wood’ in his last name on seven under – Lee Westwood would join him later in the day after also firing rounds of 68 and 67.
The resurgent 46-year-old produced only the second bogey-free round of his Open career as he added birdies at the 12th, 13th, 16th and 17th to play himself into contention.
Westwood’s putter has definitely come to the party so far this week, and the putt he sank on the 16th was an absolute monster.
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) July 19, 2019
“I hit the ball really well and gave myself a lot of chances over the first 11 holes,” Westwood said.
“They just didn’t quite go in. I could have got a bit frustrated but didn’t. It was a good, solid day.
“I haven’t got any expectations. I’m just swinging quite well at the moment.
“I’ve had a couple of weeks of links golf where I played well and made the most of how I played, and this week it’s happening.
“It’s nice to do it at The Open Championship, it’s a big tournament and prestigious tournament and on a great golf course. It’s just happened at the right time.”
As if that wasn’t enough for British fans, former World No 1 Justin Rose is also in the mix a further shot behind after matching the 67s of his countrymen.
— Justin ROSE (@JustinRose99) July 19, 2019
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The American sits atop the leaderboard despite a mixed third round on Saturday.
The Englishman saw a commanding lead cut after a stuttering back nine.
Brooks Koepka made a not-so-subtle dig at Bryson DeChambeau’s “anthill” moment from the first round in Memphis.
The tournament marked the resumption of the tour.
Horsfield fired an eagle and seven birdies in a second round of 63 at the Forest of Arden to share the halfway lead with Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez.
Koepka carded a superb 62 to take a two-stroke lead after the opening day.
A change in date from August to May last year placed the tournament second in line behind the Masters, in calendar terms at least.
The four-time major winner shot 62 in his opening round.
The Northern Irishman needs to win to reclaim the world number one spot from Jon Rahm.