SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – The U.S. Open fits Tommy Fleetwood, notably when circumstances get tough.
, wind and rain and chilly temperatures, similar to again residence in England. Precisely like Fleetwood bought on Friday morning at Shinnecock Hills.
Fleetwood posted the most effective spherical of the morning at Four-under-66. He did it in the course of the worst climate of the day.
He trailed chief Dustin Johnson by 5 pictures as a result of Fleetwood opened with a 75, and first-round co-leader Johnson almost matched Fleetwood’s 66 with a 67.
“I do fairly prefer it in kind of a humorous method,” Fleetwood stated. “However I do not know. I wish to assume I can management my ball nicely, however I nonetheless really feel like I am getting so much higher at it. And I feel that among the strengths I’ve, I’ve a number of persistence … the harder the circumstances, the extra I really feel like I can grind it out and can my method round a bit bit.
“You continue to bought to play nicely, however all these go collectively in a superb spherical if the whole lot nonetheless applies. If you happen to play dangerous, I nonetheless really feel like I can preserve it collectively and preserve going. Whether or not I shoot 10 over or 66 at the moment, I really feel like, when the climate is dangerous, I type of have that in me, the psychological facet.”
That is a crucial asset on a course comparable to Shinnecock, with its myriad challenges even earlier than the weather are added in. A few of the world’s finest gamers – Tiger Woods, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia, for instance – seem to have let frustration get of their method thus far. Fleetwood simply might have completed so on Thursday when he bogeyed 4 of 5 holes in a single stretch.
As a substitute, he confirmed the grit it takes to be on the leaderboard at a significant.
“It doesn’t matter what I did, the ball simply did the alternative of what I used to be making an attempt to, just about, and I could not get it within the gap within the again 9,” he stated of the opening spherical. “It simply exhibits then I used to be 6 over by 15 yesterday, three holes nonetheless left to play. And I feel, particularly at a U.S. Open, it’s important to preserve your head down. It’s a must to preserve going.
“I made a bunch of bogeys on that again 9 in a row, made one birdie within the final three, after which get a spherical like at the moment and also you’re again in it.”
Fleetwood’s first season as a PGA Tour member – he joined the European Tour in 2011 – has been going fairly nicely. He is missed one lower in 10 occasions, completed fourth at each the Honda and group occasion in New Orleans (partnered with Chris Paisley), and tied for seventh at The Gamers Championship.
His 4 professional victories all have some on the European PGA circuit, together with the Abu Dhabi Championship final 12 months and this.
Shinnecock Hills is his third U.S. Open course. He tied for 27th at Chambers Bay in 2015, then wound up fourth in 2017 at Erin Hills, taking pictures 11 underneath to winner Brooks Koepka’s 16 underneath.
Clearly, whereas respectful, Fleetwood is not intimidated by this match.
“I do just like the setup of a U.S. Open,” the 27-year-old stated. “It’s the final check of golf in additional methods than one. It exams your lengthy recreation, brief recreation, each side. It exams you mentally, bodily. If you are going to win a U.S. Open, which is among the greatest occasions on the earth, it ought to be that type of check.
“And … no one had performed it prefer it did yesterday in apply. So no matter you apply and you realize it is powerful, it was nothing like yesterday. It was a totally completely different golf course. So I do not assume anyone was like absolutely ready for that.”
Requested if he’s absolutely ready to problem Johnson, the world’s No. 1 participant, on the prime of the leaderboard, Fleetwood did not appear prepared to put a wager on it. He wasn’t backing off, both.
“I do know Dustin’s going nicely, so I is likely to be just a few pictures out of full rivalry,” Fleetwood stated. “However I am swiftly ready the place I can have a superb spherical tomorrow and be up there for Sunday, hopefully.”