Southampton (United States) (AFP) – England’s Tommy Fleetwood matched the lowest round in US Open history Sunday, flirting with a record 62 before settling for a seven-under 63 at Shinnecock Hills.
Fleetwood became the sixth player to shoot a 63 in the US Open, and just the second to do so in the final round along with 1973 winner Johnny Miller.
Fleetwood’s round, which was 15 strokes better than his 78 on Saturday — wasn’t enough to carry him to the title.
He finished one stroke behind American Brooks Koepka, just missed matching the record for low round in any major, 62 set by Branden Grace at last year’s British Open.
“So many positives, He said. “So many great things. Had a chance to shoot a 62. And at the end of the day I got within one of winning, when I was so far back at the start of the day.
“It’s easy to look at it and think I was one shy and you can be disappointed.
“But there’s so many positives to look at and so much that you can take from it and learn from it.”
The 27-year-old from Southport, whose four European Tour titles include his defence of his Abu Dhabi Championship title this year, started the day six off the pace but stormed up the leaderboard with a four birdies and one bogey on the front nine.
“I just needed a good start,” Fleetwood said. “We knew they would have made it a bit softer today and looking at the pins you knew they were more accessible.”
When he birdied four of his first seven holes, Fleetwood said, “It was game on.”
A burst of four successive birdies at 12, 13, 14 and 15 was halted when he missed the green at the par-four 16th. He parred 17 as his hopes of matching the lowest round in major championship history — the 62 shot by Branden Grace at the 2017 British Open — dwindled.
He had a birdie look at the 18th, but his nine-foot birdie putt didn’t drop.
“The putt, I actually started it on the line I wanted to,” Fleetwood said. “It was a little bit slower than I expected.
“I knew what score it was for,” he added. “If I could go back, I would give it a little pace.”
With his round done, Fleetwood watched for two hours as Koepka battled through the back nine.
He dandled his infant son, Frankie, as he tried to stay prepared for a possible playoff — or victory celebration.
“I’m not going to dwell too much on it,” Fleetwood said. “I got very close to winning a major.”