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The 148th Open Royal Portrush

Talking points


Fleetwood fires on Friday morning

With his Beatles accent and Rolling Stones haircut, Tommy Fleetwood can never truly go unnoticed - but the Englishman hopes his form has peaked at just the right time after a low-key season.

Fleetwood’s 67 saw him move to -7 at the halfway point of The 148th Open at Royal Portrush and he will be among the contenders at the weekend.

A year ago, the 28-year-old was the head of the English charge following a second-place finish at the US Open and a sterling Ryder Cup display.

But since then his form has dipped – until now.

Flying under the radar

“Well, I haven't played as well. Obviously my major performances haven't been as good as the previous year," he said.

“And it's just been a bit of a quieter year. I've had two really, really great years, and this one has just been a little quieter but with the potential it could have been great. 

"I've been up two or three times, especially on the PGA Tour and not quite won.

“Those results could have gone my way and all of a sudden the year could look very different.

“But there's players that have been playing better than me so I'm a little bit more under the radar.

“Media-wise I guess I'm under the radar. Playing out there I feel like I have so much support and so many people behind me that want me to do well. And I'm glad that's not changed while the game has been a little bit quieter.”

Fleetwood the scrapper

For all the creativity that links golf allows, it’s the ability to fight and scrap which separates the wheat from the chaff.

And Fleetwood is encouraged by what he has produced.

“It was different on Thursday. Round 1 was a lot more stress-free than today. Today I made two or three really good putts,” he added.

“I'm happy with the challenge. It's not all going to be singing and dancing through a major.

“I'm happy that I had a chance to scrap and actually did really well. I was up to the test and, again, did a lot of good stuff.

“But overall, two really good rounds of golf to start.”

Savour it

Despite being a regular challenger for the game’s biggest prizes, Fleetwood knows he can take nothing for granted.

“You don't know how many times you're going to actually get the chance to compete at the back end of a draw on Saturday or Sunday in a major, and it's important to embrace it and enjoy it whatever happens,” he added.

“You don't know what's going to happen next week or the week after. And you have to realise what a lucky position you're in and how well you've done to get there.”

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