You would think that being the course record-holder at Carnoustie would stand you in good stead going into this week’s Open, wouldn’t you?
Not according to Tommy Fleetwood.
The Englishman, whose 63 during the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last year is the lowest score ever posted on the famous course, reckons his track record around the Angus links won’t count for much this week because of the firm and fast conditions.
“It doesn't do any harm to have a course record, but it's a completely different challenge to what we normally face,” said Fleetwood acknowledging the impact a recent prolonged heatwave has had on the course.
“It is a completely different course. I played yesterday and I’ve just never played it this firm or fast. Shots that you've hit [previously] have literally no relevance for a lot of it. It was definitely apparent that the difficulties this week are probably going to be putting it in play and hitting it in the fairways and go from there.”
Fleetwood, 27, is heavily fancied to win his first major championship this week, having finished runner-up at last month’s US Open at Shinnecock Hills.
He admits that the experience has left him buoyed and ready for another crack at the Claret Jug.
“The good thing about having results like the US Open is it is proof to yourself, that you can end up there, and you have the game to eventually compete and, hopefully, win majors. That's what it's all about.
“This week is just another test against the best players in the world in one of the biggest events, if not the biggest event, in world golf. So, I’m looking forward to it.”