Tommy Fleetwood cards pair of eagles, surges up leaderboard in final round

LOS ANGELES — Tommy Fleetwood’s run at Los Angeles Country Club came just a day late, but it was incredibly impressive nonetheless.

Fleetwood made two eagles in his final round at the U.S. Open on Sunday afternoon, which made him the first person to have a pair in a single round at the tournament since 1990. His second eagle of the day launched him up into the top five on the leaderboard, too, though the final pairing of Rickie Fowler and Wyndham Clark had yet to tee off.

Fleetwood, after an even-par 70 in his third round, entered Sunday at 2-over. That put him a full 12 strokes behind Fowler and Clark and all but out of contention at the third major championship of the season.

But the 32-year-old Englishman played a near-perfect round of golf. He birdied the second hole, and then expertly drove the blind green at the par-4 sixth. His tee shot landed safely about 6 feet from the cup on the narrow green situated above the thick barranca and below a dangerous hill and bunker, and set him up with an easy eagle putt.

That eagle, which got Fleetwood under par for the tournament, was just the third on that hole of the tournament.

Fleetwood’s run didn’t stop there. He carded three more birdies in his next five holes.Then at the par-5 14th, Fleetwood managed to hit his second shot from the left rough up onto the green. That set up a 20-foot eagle putt, which he drained in the back of the cup to send the crowd around him into a roar.

Though Fleetwood bogeyed the 16th after landing in the fairway bunker, he still finished with a 7-under 63. That’s one of the best rounds anyone in the field has carded all week, and just a shot off the tournament record both Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele hit on Thursday. He narrowly missed a birdie putt on the 18th that would have matched the record, too. Fleetwood finished at 5-under on the week, which was good for solo-fifth when he entered the clubhouse. He finished tied for fifth with Min Woo Lee and Rickie Fowler, five shots off eventual winner Wyndham Clark.

Fleetwood struggled to mount much of a run before Sunday in Los Angeles. He went 3-over in his first round, and went 1-under on Friday while carding six birdies and five bogeys. But he is the first player in U.S. Open history to shoot two rounds of 63 or better, something he did back in 2018 for the first time.

“It’s a nice little piece of history, of course, it is,” Fleetwood said. “And you can be disappointed with what I didn’t get out of today, but I think having something like that and shooting multiple 63s in a major, and I think anything like days like today where you can put in the memory bank and know that you can get rounds going and your game can stand up on a major golf course and shoot low scores is really nice to have.”

Tommy Fleetwood

Tommy Fleetwood is the first player to make two eagles in the same round at the U.S. Open since 1990. (Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Fleetwood has yet to win on the PGA Tour, though he came incredibly close last week at the RBC Canadian Open. Fleetwood fell in a four-hole playoff in Toronto to Nick Taylor, who became the first Canadian to win that tournament in almost seven decades. Fleetwood has seven top-25 finishes this season, including a T5 run at the Wells Fargo Championship and a T3 finish at the Valspar Championship in March. Fleetwood nearly won the U.S. Open in 2018, too, though Brooks Keopka edged him out by a shot at Shinnecock Hills.

Though he’s almost certainly too far out of it to make an impact, Fleetwood’s charge on Sunday was a remarkable feat. It’s going to earn him a much, much larger paycheck by the end of the night, too.