The Open 2021: Tommy Fleetwood dreaming of ending wait for English winner

Tommy Fleetwood faces the difficult task of not thinking about a rare English victory as the 149th Open Championship continues at Royal St George’s on Friday.

A superb 67 in the tougher afternoon conditions left Fleetwood just three shots off the lead held by Louis Oosthuizen and dreaming of becoming the first English winner since Sir Nick Faldo in 1992.

“Growing up watching the Open it gives very, very special feelings whenever the event comes around,” said Fleetwood, who was second to Shane Lowry at Royal Portrush in 2019.

“It brings an amazing opportunity to accomplish a dream. It brings its challenges of the more you want something, the harder it is to stay present,the harder it is to focus on all the things that you try and do week in, week out.

“I love the Open so much. I love links golf. I love the history of this event and yeah, it’s been a long time since an Englishman has won the Open and I would love to be the next one.”


Oosthuizen, who won at St Andrews in 2010 and lost a play-off at the same venue five years later, carded a flawless opening 64 to enjoy a one-shot lead over 2017 champion Jordan Spieth and Brian Harman, with 2009 winner Stewart Cink part of a five-strong group on four under.

Fleetwood led the home challenge alongside major champions Danny Willett and Justin Rose, while Rory McIlroy birdied two of his last five holes to shoot level par as US PGA winner Phil Mickelson slumped to an 80.

Tweet of the day

Golf writer Jason Sobel takes a comic view of Sergio Garcia’s traffic troubles on the way to the course

Quote of the day

It’s like an eight-year-old that gets mad at you. They might fly off the handle and say, ‘I hate you’, but then you go, ‘Whoa, no you don’t.’

Bryson DeChambeau’s claim that his driver “sucks” was met with a withering response from manufacturers Cobra.

Shot of the day

Brandt Snedeker almost made a hole-in-one on the 16th and then made a second consecutive two on the 17th.

Round of the day

Former champion Louis Oosthuizen got off to a brilliant start with a bogey-free 64.

Statistic of the day

Germany’s Marcel Siem qualified by winning a Challenge Tour event and enjoyed a very happy birthday on Thursday.

Toughest hole

The 15th played back into the wind and to a scoring average of 4.365. Just seven of the 156-strong field managed a birdie.

Easiest hole

The par-five 14th was straight downwind and Rory McIlroy reached it with two long irons to set up one of 80 birdies on the day. The hole played to an average of 4.577.

Weather forecast

A breezy and overcast start with breaks in the cloud possible by mid-late morning bringing sunny intervals. Any remaining cloud will clear leaving dry, sunny spells. Winds easing a little at 15-20mph.

Key tee times

1020 – Rory McIlroy, Patrick Reed (USA), Cameron Smith (Aus)1426 – Bryson DeChambeau (USA), Branden Grace (Rsa), Jordan Spieth (USA)1437 – Brian Harman (USA), Mackenzie Hughes (Can), Dylan Frittelli (Rsa)1459 – Shane Lowry, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa), Jon Rahm (Spa)

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