The 2018 British Open isn’t for another nine months, but a favourite may have already emerged to claim the the claret jug at Carnoustie next July. On Friday, Tommy Fleetwood played the famed course at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship – and he took apart the Scottish track like no one before.
Fleetwood shot 63 to break Carnoustie’s record during the second round of the European Tour event that is contested on Carnoustie, the Old Course at St Andrews and Kingsbarns. At the midway point of the event, Fleetwood shares the lead with fellow Englishman and defending champ Tyrrell Hatton at 11 under. Both will play Kingsbarns on Saturday before Sunday’s final round at St Andrews.
“Any time you have a course record, especially on a golf course like this, it’s brilliant to have,” Fleetwood told reporters. “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 realise what you’re doing,” added Fleetwood, who broke the mark of 64 originally set by Colin Montgomerie at the 1995 Scottish Open.
It’s hard to imagine not realising you’re in the midst of such a special round, especially at a course known for its difficulty. Here’s Fleetwood’s ninth birdie of a bogey-free day:
— DP World Tour (@DPWorldTour) October 6, 2017
The 26-year-old Fleetwood, who is 10 shots ahead of playing partner Rory McIlroy after 36 holes, is playing in his first event since the birth of his first child last week. And after Friday’s performance, when he plays his first Open Championship as a dad next summer, it might be wise to place a few pounds on him.