Tommy Fleetwood reflects on near-miss at US Open: "And at the end of the day, this is my best result in a Major yet. So now there's only one I can do from here, and that's win one."
Tommy Fleetwood fired a closing round 63 to match the US Open scoring record on Sunday and set the clubhouse target on two-over-par - but he ultimately came up one shot short as he recorded his second straight top 5 finish at the US Open.
The 27-year-old was just a few inches away from recording the first ever 62 in a US Open, and second ever in a major as he posted a 63 on the final day at Shinnecock Hills.
Coming a day after criticisms of tough pin positions blighted the third round scores of the US Open, Fleetwood took advantage of Sunday's softer conditions as he tied the lowest score in the tournament's 118-year history.
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He began the day six shots behind but fired a closing round 7-under 63 which included one bogey, eight birdies and several lengthy birdie putts on his way to setting the clubhouse target on two-over-par.
Four birdies on the 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th holes got Tommy to within two shots early in the round, before he gave a shot back at the ninth to card an opening three-under 32. From there, it was an unbelievable display of ballstriking and on the greens, holing over 70 feet of putts on his way to a run of four straight birdies from the 12th-15th.
He had a few more chances coming in, not least at the 18th for a 62 and history, but it was not to be for the Englishman, who ultimately ended up one shot behind back-to-back champion Brooks Koepka.
Here's what he said after his round...
"Last night I spoke to my caddie and we said let's go out and shoot the greatest score in a US Open and we'll have a chance," Fleetwood said after his round.
"I honestly never really thought I was out of it. I just needed a good start, as you never know what's going to happen.
"Obviously, we knew they would have made it a bit softer today and, looking at the pins, you knew they were going to be more accessible. I knew I was kind of in it teeing off, but you still have to get off to that good start so four under through seven, it was game on.
"All the way around, I always felt like I could get myself back in it... I actually hit the putt I wanted to (on 18), but it was so steep, that green, it was a bit slower than what I thought.
"I made great putts coming down that back nine, so it's easy to just look at 16, 18, where I had chances, because that is essentially what it comes down to. But I made so many good putts today and, to sit here with a chance, I'll take it."
When Brooks bogeyed his final hole to win his second US Open in as many years, Fleetwood had to accept a 2nd place finish was as good as it was going to get - at least at this year's tournament.
He was then asked about how much he dreamt of winning Majors and Ryder Cups, and whether he felt he was bound to win a major - and it was clear he doesn't want to get ahead of himself.
"I've not won a Major, and I've not played in a Ryder Cup, so they're not reality yet, but hopefully I'll get there.
"In golf, all of us that play, that's where our dreams and ambitions are. We want to win Majors. A lot of us want to be world No. 1, and there's certain tournaments we want to win. And it's been that way since you decide to kind of play the game full-time, whenever that point is when you grow up.
"It's always there, and that's what we work towards. I think it's nice as a golfer to have that hard work start paying off and getting yourself up there. And hopefully, for me, this is just stages that I'm going through to eventually end up winning Majors.
"I don't feel like I'm bound to win a Major, because I think -- I best put this on. I think it takes a lot of hard work, and you need the right breaks, and there's so many good golfers now that you can't really think that way. So, for me, I'll just continue to put in the hard work and surround myself with the people that I need. And hopefully I will get there, and hopefully I'll win one or more than one.
"But as my career goes, it might be disappointing now when you think you could have won one. But I know people are on you. You don't see it when it's yourself, but people outside of it will tell you you're just going through the right stages and you're getting closer and closer.
"And at the end of the day, this is my best result in a Major yet. So now there's only one I can do from here, and that's win one. At the position I'm in, performing in them a little bit more, yeah, at some point I'll start to look and think, yeah, I can win these Majors, and I'll start to find a way to try to win them.
We have a feeling it won't be very long until Fleetwood sees his name engraved on one of the four major trophies... and it might be sooner than you think. The Open heads to Carnoustie in just over a month's time, and guess who holds the course record (another 63) there?
U.S. Open rounds of 63
1973: Johnny Miller, 4th round, 8 under (Oakmont CC)
1980: Jack Nicklaus, 1st round, 7 under (Baltusrol CC)
1980: Tom Weiskopf, 1st round, 7 under (Baltusrol CC)
2003: Vijay Singh, 2nd round, 7 under (Olympia Fields CC)
2017: Justin Thomas, 3rd round, 9 under (Erin Hills)
2018: Tommy Fleetwood, 4th round, 7 under (Shinnecock Hills GC)