England’s Tommy Fleetwood has been putting beautifully at the U.S. Open and needs to extend his surprising role at the championship one more day to change his life forever.
Bolstered by a delicate, bogey-saving chip shot at the 18th green, Fleetwood posted a four-under-par 68 on Saturday to stand 11 under par, just one stroke back of American left-hander Brian Harman heading into Sunday’s final round at Erin Hills. Winning the U.S. Open is something he has thought about many times, the 26-year-old from Southport said.
“Well, it would change my life, I know that,” Fleetwood told reporters. “I’ve pictured winning the U.S. Open a lot of times before. “Doing it all night is not going to help and not make any difference. It’s just concentrate on each day.”
Fleetwood said he must stay in the zone he has enjoyed all week in the rolling Wisconsin countryside. “I don’t think I could play any different or score any better than I have done,” said Fleetwood, who won his second European Tour title earlier this season at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.
“This is my first time in contention in a major, so whatever happens I’ll be doing my best and seeing how well I can finish. It will be a pleasure to go out on a Sunday trying to win a major.”
Fleetwood, who tied for 27th in his only previous U.S. Open in 2015, has moved the ball smoothly through the long, links-style layout, illustrated by his average of just 1.54 putts per hole, tied for fifth-best in the tournament. For all his good work, the Englishman needed a perfect pitch shot to save his round.
Fleetwood’s second shot on the par-five 18th finished just 47 yards from the pin. But his chip landed short of the green on a ridge, leaving him a nearly impossible putt to hold the green. The putt ran past the hole and settled at the bottom of a collection area 70 feet away.
He floated a wedge shot to three feet to escape with his only bogey of the round. “It was a good save,” Fleetwood said. “It was a good bogey. That was the best shot I hit all day.”