Tommy Fleetwood fires record-tying 63 to threaten epic U.S. Open comeback

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Tommy Fleetwood fires record-tying 63 to threaten epic U.S. Open comeback

PGA Tour

Tommy Fleetwood fires record-tying 63 to threaten epic U.S. Open comeback

A day after brutal afternoon conditions, the U.S. Open featured a tie for the lowest score in its 118-year history.

Tommy Fleetwood fired a closing 7-under 63 on Sunday at Shinnecock Hills, tying the mark for low round ever in a U.S. Open. And the Englishman could possibly join Johnny Miller in using a final-round 63 in the year’s second major to make an epic comeback for his first major title.

Fleetwood began the final round six back at 9 over but torched the opening stretch with birdies at Nos. 2, 3, 6 and 7 to move within two.

“I knew I was kind of in it teeing off, but you still have to get off to that good start,” Fleetwood said. “So, 4 under through seven and it was game on.”

A bogey at the ninth relegated him to an opening 3-under 32, but Fleetwood didn’t withdraw his battle.

A run of four straight birdies from Nos. 12-15 – draining putts of 17, 3, 21 and 30 feet – put him 7 under for the round, on the verge of history and within one of the lead.

Two pars ensued, but he came to the 18th needing a birdie to shoot a new U.S. Open record 62.

He smashed a driver down the right side of the fairway and drew an approach in to 9 feet. That was what was left for history. But his birdie putt finished low and right of the cup.

“The putt, I mean I actually started it on the line I wanted to. It was a little bit slower than I thought,” Fleetwood said. “I mean, I knew what it was for. I knew what score it was for. If I could go back, I’d give it a little bit more pace or I’d give it a little bit more line.”

Even with that disappointment, Fleetwood is in at 2 over, which puts him one off the lead (shared by Brooks Koepka and Patrick Reed) at the moment.

Miller famously fired an 8-under 63 in the final round of the 1973 U.S. Open to come from six back to capture his first major championship.

In Fleetwood’s case, much remains up in the air at the moment. The 27-year-old first made an impression on American fans when he contended at last year’s U.S. Open and finished fourth. He’s won four European Tour events and captured the circuit’s Race to Dubai in 2017.

And he’s possibly hours away from being a major champion. We’ll know later Sunday if his amazing closing round is enough for a U.S. Open title.

“It’s funny, though, when you finish, you always feel like you’re going to be short. … But we’ll see,” Fleetwood said.

But the 63 is for certain, and Fleetwood is now in the record books.

Here’s a look at all the 63s in U.S. Open history:

U.S. Open rounds of 63

  • Johnny Miller, 1973 (Oakmont CC), final round (8 under)*
  • Jack Nicklaus, 1980 (Baltusrol CC), first round (7 under)*
  • Tom Weiskopf, 1980 (Baltusrol CC), first round (7 under)
  • Vijay Singh, 2003 (Olympia Fields CC), second round (7 under)
  • Justin Thomas, 2017 (Erin Hills), third round (9 under)
  • Tommy Fleetwood, 2018 (Shinnecock Hills GC), final round (7 under)

*Won tournament

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