Tommy Fleetwood ready for difficult US Open challenge at Winged Foot

Tommy Fleetwood missed the cut

Tommy Fleetwood insists he is ready to enjoy the “absolute grind” of a US Open as he seeks a first major title at Winged Foot.

Fleetwood was fourth in the US Open at Erin Hills in 2017 and second the following year at Shinnecock Hills, where his closing round of 63 equalled the championship record and left him just a shot behind Brooks Koepka.

The 29-year-old could only finish 65th at Pebble Beach last year but was runner-up to Shane Lowry in the Open Championship a month later and travelled to New York on the back of a closing 64 and tie for third in the Portugal Masters.

“I have not played Winged Foot before but I have heard people say how tough it is and I think it’s a US Open and that is just what you have to expect,” Fleetwood said.

“I actually remember the last US Open there and it is a tough test. My coach says a good shot normally does the trick and that is the idea wherever you are, but the preparation for the US Open always stays the same.

“You have got to be prepared for anything, for bogey runs, getting around the greens, trying to make as many up and downs as you can. Par is always going to be your friend in a US Open and you are going to have to hole a lot of tricky putts with the way the greens are.

“You know what is coming. You are not going to go there wondering what am I going to need this week and what the course is going to be like – which is a good thing – and I have always enjoyed the odd week a year to have an absolute grind out there.”

Australia’s Geoff Ogilvy emerged victorious the last time Winged Foot held the US Open in 2006, but the tournament is best remembered for Colin Montgomerie and Phil Mickelson both making a double bogey on the 72nd hole when poised to win.

“Monty is still one of my favourite golfers and I was pulling for him that week, it would have been great to see him win a major and it was one of the most unexpected finishes to a golf tournament ever,” added Fleetwood, who was 15 at the time and watching at home with his dad.

“It was on TV the other week and you forget things like when he holed a (birdie) putt on 17 and I think at that moment everybody thought it’s Monty’s time and that he was going to do it finally.

“Then he stands on the tee and everyone thinks he can’t draw the ball and then rips the tee shot, and it was a disaster for him after that.

“And then for Mickelson to stand up at the last, he was the best player in the world at that time and looked like he could win every major, and you just did not see that happening at all.”

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