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Shoot 63 and leave it to Brian! Tommy Fleetwood needs giant turnaround for Open glory

Despite riding a wave of strong support once again, Tommy Fleetwood lost ground on Brian Harman in the third round of The Open

 

Tommy Fleetwood knows what’s needed to win The 151st Open, but he also knows it’s out of his hands.

The Englishman carded a 71 to stay on 5-under par, seven shots adrift of the runaway leader Brian Harman who looked imperious on day three at Hoylake.

Fleetwood was frustrated with Saturday’s outcome, but not disappointed with the many “good things” he did while playing with the American in the final group on Merseyside.

“There were parts of the round where I lost my swing a little bit, didn’t feel comfortable,” he said. (I) hit a lot of good putts, just didn’t convert any chances.

“It’s very frustrating now, but in time over the course of tonight, I’ll look at the positives of what were and try and move on to tomorrow.

Tommy Fleetwood the open

“It really is down to Brian,” he added. “Take him out of it, two away from the next best contender, so you go out, play well, and shoot the best score of the day, then you know there’s one person that’s left. That’s the way you’ve just got to look at it.

“A lot of good stuff. And again, having Sundays and low rounds to draw on is always something positive.”

Tommy Fleetwood: Open Championship still in his sights

Asked if a 63 would do the trick at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Fleetwood said he’d take it. He carded this very score in the final round of the US Open when coming tied for fifth at Los Angeles Country Club.

His fellow European Jon Rahm took this amount of blows in a stunning display to hop up the leaderboard to 6-under – the low round of the week thus far.

Testing conditions were expected on day three, but Fleetwood couldn’t capitalise on “a pretty soft” golf course. His previous best finish at The Open Championship was tied for second at Royal Portrush in 2019.

“Level par is not a disastrous score,” he said. “It just feels worse because I felt like I did have chances and could have built on that.

“It wasn’t that bad. It’s not like I’ve sat here and shot 5, 6-over and I was really terrible, so there was a lot of good stuff, and there’s still another day to go tomorrow.”

After shooting a 69, Harman leads by five shots from Cameron Young. Fleetwood sits tied for fourth with four other players.

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Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spent time with some of the biggest names in the sport.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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