Tommy Fleetwood agonisingly close to slice of major history

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Fleetwood close to breaking final round record as he surges through US Open field.
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Tommy Fleetwood came agonisingly close to making major championship history as the battle for the 123rd US Open looked set to be an unusually low-scoring affair.

Fleetwood began the final round 12 shots off the lead, but carded a stunning closing 63 at Los Angeles Country Club to surge through the field.

And it could have been even better for the Ryder Cup star as he missed from five feet for birdie on the 18th.

That would have seen Fleetwood shoot the first 62 in the final round of a major, the record having been set by Branden Grace in the third round of the 2017 Open and equalled by Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele on Thursday.

Fleetwood birdied the second, holed from six feet for eagle after driving the green on the short par-four sixth and birdied the eighth and ninth to reach the turn in 30.

The back nine has played far tougher than the front all week, but Fleetwood hit a brilliant tee shot on the 295-yard 11th to set up another birdie and then holed from 20 feet for eagle on the 14th.

A bogey on the 16th looked to have ended his chances of a 62 until he hit a superb approach to the last, only for the birdie chance to go begging.

It is the second time Fleetwood has carded a 63 in the final round of the US Open – he also missed a short putt for a 62 at Shinnecock Hills in 2018 and finished a shot behind Brooks Koepka.

“Missed a six-footer on the first (for birdie), missed a five-footer on the last, and then everything in between was really, really good,” Fleetwood said with a smile when asked to sum up his round.

“I hit some amazing golf shots. I hit the tee shot on six and then the 5-wood off the tee into 11 that I had to cut against the wind a little bit. It’s so amazing coming down the stretch and playing so well and shooting those scores on a Sunday in a US Open.

“I just need to be higher up the leaderboard coming into Sunday and then have another day like today.”

Asked about being the only player to shoot two closing 63s in the US Open, Fleetwood added: “It’s a nice little piece of history, of course, it is.

“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, anything you can put in the memory bank and know your game can stand up on a major golf course and shoot low scores is really nice to have.”

Fleetwood completed his round as the leaders were beginning theirs, American Wyndham Clark moving to the top of the leaderboard with two birdies and a bogey in his first four holes.

Clark led by one from Rory McIlroy, who birdied the par-five first, with Rickie Fowler a shot further back.

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