HOYLAKE, England — It is a year this week since the Southport player’s mother Sue died, and Tommy Fleetwood wants to mark the anniversary with a strong showing in front of family and friends at Royal Liverpool.
The 32-year-old will begin his latest Open campaign at 9:47 a.m. local time Thursday, playing alongside world number one Scottie Scheffler and Adam Scott in the opening round.
“It’ll be different,” said Fleetwood, who is currently ranked 21st in the world, at a press conference. “It’ll be a year on Friday. We know that that’s coming up. It would be nice to think she’s watching over.
“It’ll be a special event. I would love to play well and I would love to give myself a chance come Saturday and Sunday and have something to aim for in that sense.
“Everybody is doing really well – I have a great family and a lot of support, and my dad is out here. I think the best thing is seeing how well he’s doing and obviously giving him something to enjoy watching this week.”
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Fleetwood made his Open debut at Hoylake in 2014 but missed the cut, as he did at St. Andrews the following year and Troon in 2016.
He failed to shine in another Open close to home at Birkdale in 2017, when he finished in a tie for 27th, but his runner-up showing at Portrush in 2019 and a tied-fourth placing at. St Andrews last year underlined his pedigree.
“Winning a major is a dream, or winning The Open is a huge, huge dream,” Fleetwood said. “No matter where that is, that’s always something I’ve visualized and always thought about but, having the opportunity to do it so close to where you grew up, is something that’s very unique and very special.
“For sure I’ve pictured it a lot and visualized it a lot. I just haven’t done it yet in person, so that’s hopefully the next thing.”
Fleetwood believes his grouping for the opening two rounds will help bring the best out of him.
He said: “The first thing you always do is look at the draw, and I was very happy with the guys that I’m playing with – great golfers, both very, very good at winning tournaments and stuff.
“It’s always good to be around those people that are at the top of the game and make sure you’re always trying to keep pace with them.”