6th October in Golfnews by
Tommy Fleetwood is back chasing birdies this week after taking turns changing diapers. The Englishman made quite a few of the former in the second round of $5 million Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
They added up to a course record around arguably the most feared links in golf.
The European No. 1 returned a nine-under-par 63 around Carnoustie to set a new course record over the Open Championship venue. Not bad for someone who’s been doting on the birth of his new son Franklin for the last few days instead of working on his putting stroke.
Fleetwood and partner Clare celebrated Franklin’s birth last week, forcing him to miss the British Masters. It didn’t take Tommy long to move from full-time dad back into Tour pro mode.
The 26-year-old shares the lead at 11-under with fellow Englishman Tyrrell Hatton, after Hatton’s 65 at Carnoustie. Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts is in third place at 10 under.
“Any time you have a course record, especially on a golf course like this, it’s brilliant to have,” Fleetwood said. “I’m very proud at the moment.
“I played well, putted well. It just unravels really, sometimes it does that. Most of the times, those are your best rounds when you don’t quite realize what you’re doing.”
Fleetwood has some history in the Alfred Dunhill. He finished second to former Augusta State player Oliver Wilson in 2014.
“I would love to win a tournament. I’d love to win this tournament. The goal every week is to try and win whatever you’re playing in.”
Fleetwood sits at the top of the European money list with Masters winner Sergio Garcia breathing down his neck. Garcia is not in this week’s field, so Fleetwood has a chance to pull further away from the Spaniard to finish the season No. 1.
“With such big events coming up, I don’t think anything will be over until it’s finally done but if I can keep making that cushion a little bit bigger, then it will feel a lot nicer.”
Hatton also has recent history in this event: he’s the defending champion. He arrived in good form after contending for last week’s British Masters, where he eventually finished eighth.
“Happy with today’s round,” Hatton said. “Got lucky a couple of times but obviously you need that. The putter came alive for me on the last sort of 13 holes.
“It’s a strange feeling to think I’ve won the tournament, because when I look back, it doesn’t feel like it was me that won. It’s great to be back and good memories from last year.
“I’ve come into this event with a bit of form. I’m happy that I’m sort of carrying it on and, you know, hopefully I can have a good one at Kingsbarns tomorrow and all to play for Sunday. But there’s still a lot of golf still to be played.”
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