Tommy Fleetwood chasing 'ultimate dream' in 150th Open at St Andrews

Tommy Fleetwood is hoping to achieve his “ultimate dream” by becoming Open champion in this year’s 150th edition at St Andrews.

Tommy Fleetwood, pictured during last year's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on the Old Course, is hoping to have something to smile about when he returns to St Andrews in July for the 150th Open. Matthew Lewis/Getty Images.

The Englishman, who was runner-up to Shane Lowry at Royal Portrush in 2019, finished a disappointing joint-33rd behind Collin Morikawa in last year’s event at Royal St George’s.

Speaking ahead of this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, Fleetwood admitted that the 2021 in general had been “tough” as he lacked confidence in his game.

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But, having hit the reset button at the start of a new season, the 30-year-old is hoping to be firing on all cylinders when the Claret Jug comes around in July.

St Andrews is a special place,” Fleetwood told The Scotsman. “The Open, in my opinion, is the most special tournament in the world.

“I always sort of treasure the experiences that I have there and the opportunities there are to essentially try and achieve my ultimate dream, which is winning The Open.

“Yeah, massively excited; a course that I love and a tournament that I love. Hopefully when it comes to July, I'll be right in form and I can try and compete again in that tournament.”

Fleetwood, a two-time winner of the Abu Dhabi event, had his worst season last year in terms of major performances since establishing himself as one of the top players in the game.

“Last year was tough. I didn't play well enough,” he said in assessing his 2021 campaign overall. “I was very rarely at a tournament where I felt very confident with my game or where all parts of my game are at. I lacked rhythm throughout the year.

“It's tough, and I think every week you get to a golf tournament, there are players that are making the game look easy and there are players that are really struggling. In simple terms, you want to be one of the guys making it look easy more often than not, and it's not always like that.

“I struggled off the tee which for me has always been a massive source of confidence and where I've broken courses down and built scores in the past. I think when I was missing that, found the game particularly hard.

“There were actually parts and areas in my game that were stronger, which is comforting.”

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