LOS ANGELES — Tommy Fleetwood’s run at the Los Angeles Country Club came up a day late, but it was incredibly impressive.
Fleetwood made Nasreen in his final outing at the US Open on Sunday afternoon, making him the first person to have two doubles in one round at the tournament since 1990. His second eagle propelled him into the top five on Sunday. The leaderboard too, although the recent pairing of Rickie Fowler and Windham Clarke hasn’t quite worked out yet.
Fleetwood, after tying 70 in his third innings, entered Sunday at 2-over. This put him 12 complete strokes behind Fowler and Clark and all out of contention for his third major championship of the season.
But the 32-year-old Englishman played a near-perfect round of golf. He birdied the second hole, then skillfully drove the blind green at the Par-4 sixth. His tee shot fell safely 6 feet from the cup on the tight green above dense Barranca and down a dangerous bunker hill, and set him up with an easy eagle putt.
That eagle, which brought Fleetwood even par for the championship, was only third on that hole of the tournament.
Fleetwood’s run didn’t stop there. He bowled three more birdies in his next five holes, then on the 5th round 14, Fleetwood was able to hit his second shot from left to top on the green. That set up a 20-foot eagle jab, which he slammed into the back of the cup to send the crowd around him into a roar.
Although Fleetwood took the 16th after landing in the dungeon vault, they finished with a 7-under 63. This is one of the best runs anyone has had in the field all week, and it’s just a shot off the championship record both Ricky Fowler and Xander hit Schauffele on Thursday. He narrowly missed a birdie putt on the 18th that would also match the record. Fleetwood finished at 5-Under the Week, which was good for a solitary 5th place when it entered the club. He finished tied for fifth with Min-Woo Lee and Ricky Fowler, five shots off eventual winner Windham Clark.
Fleetwood struggled to run a lot ahead of Sunday in Los Angeles. He went 3-under in his first innings, going 1-under on Friday while bowling out six birdies and five bogeys. But he is the first player in US Open history to shoot two rounds of 63 or better, which he did in 2018 for the first time.
“It’s a nice little piece of history, of course, it is,” said Fleetwood. “And you could be disappointed with what I didn’t get out of the day, but I think having something like that and shooting several 63s in a major, I think anything like days like today where you can put it in a memory bank and know you can get rounds, and it can Your game to stand on a big golf course and shoot low is really cool.”
Fleetwood has yet to win on the PGA Tour, although it came incredibly close last week at the RBC Canadian Open. Fleetwood fell in a four-hole playoff in Toronto to Nick Taylor, who became the first Canadian to win that tournament in nearly seven decades. Fleetwood has seven top 25 finishes this season, including a T5 finish at Wells Fargo and a T3 finish at Valspar in March. Fleetwood nearly won the 2018 US Open as well, though Brooks Kiobka bested him with a shot at Shinnecock Hills.
Although almost certainly a long way from making an impact, Fleetwood’s stint on Sunday was an impressive feat. You’ll earn him a much bigger paycheck by the end of the night, too.
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