Former Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood is heading to this week’s US Open with renewed confidence over his ball-striking following his tied third finish at the Portugal Masters.
The Englishman was a surprise inclusion in the field at Vilamoura as he opted to play tournament golf rather than head to the United States early to prepare for the second Major Championship of the year at Winged Foot.
But Fleetwood used his first appearance on the European Tour since the Omega Dubai Desert Classic to sharpen up the parts of his game he felt were lacking during his post-lockdown appearances in the States. In his five outings since the PGA Tour’s restart, the 29 year old has failed to finish in the top 25 but a strong week at the Portugal Masters, where he posted a seven under par final round, saw him finish tied third and two shots behind winner George Coetzee.
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“I’m happy with how I played and it’s nice to put yourself in contention after hitting shots like 17 and 18 coming down the stretch,” said Fleetwood.
“The way I hit it was good because I was nowhere near for a few weeks in America and then I came home. It wasn’t about reassessing, it is so hard to take a step back when you are playing tournaments because you have always got a round of golf to play and it’s hard to distance yourself from it and set yourself up on a range and find what you’re looking for.
“I did some really good practice and I wanted to play this week because at the end of the day, I was working on things that I know were right, I had simple thoughts this week, but you have to hit shots like 17 and that is the only time you are going to find out how it’s doing. So that was my most pleasing thing, the way I played, the way I hit it. On the greens I was disappointing and inside six feet I was poor this week but that’s golf sometimes.”