Tommy Fleetwood enjoyed what he might just believe to be the ideal preparation for this week’s US Open when finishing third in the Algarve on Sunday.
The world No 16 shot a bogeyless 64 in Vilamoura and one 13-under hurtled himself into contention in the Portugal Masters. But overnight leader George Coetzee birdied two of the last three holes for a 66 to beat another Englishman in Laurie Canter by two shots, with Fleetwood another shot back alongside Swede Joakim Lakergren.
Fleetwood, 29, was a late entry to the European Tour event after deciding that he needed a tune-up for the test at Winged Foot. And the 2018 US Open runner-up was delighted with his form, after a patchy spell on the PGA Tour that only brought one top 30 in four starts following the restart.
“I’m very happy with how I played, it was nice to be in contention. I was nowhere near hitting it like this in America. I’d done some good practice at home in the last few weeks and knew I was working on the right stuff, but I wanted to play because the only way you can tell is out there in competition. My putting could be better but I am pleased and I’m looking forward to New York.”
This was Coetzee’s fifth Tour title. “I’m ecstatic, it’s the work me, my psychologist and my coach have been doing. It’s nice to see it pay off,” said Coetzee. “I think I hide it (nerves) pretty well.”
While Canter, 35, celebrated the biggest payday of his career with a cheque for almost £100,000. His own 66 builds on his top five at last month’s Wales Open.
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