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July 22, 2017

Tommy Fleetwood

Southport, England

Q. How was today's round?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, it was lovely. We had perfect conditions when we went out. The pins were tucked away today. There are some cracking pins. I think the course setup was brilliant. It would have been nice to sort of get back to level and feel like you're putting the pressure on tomorrow. But just to shoot, just to get a score going under par and shoot 66 is lovely, and nice afternoon off now after last night and this morning.

Q. Birdie, eagle didn't do you any harm, did it?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Definitely not. Yeah, it was nice to get something going. I played well most of the round and then 11 and 12, you know, I kind of -- nothing was happening there. I sort of -- the round was going a bit sort of not sour but just calming down. And there was nothing happening. I played those holes great. And, yeah, it was nice to get something going.

I still had to hole some putts. I think I holed one all week really. I holed some good par saves and a couple of nice six-to-eight-footers, but nothing of any length apart from the 8th today. That's the one thing I felt missing the last few days. So hopefully I've saved them all up for tomorrow.

Q. What are your hopes for tomorrow? Do you feel you're still in it?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Who knows? We'll have to see what the weather with brings this afternoon and see what the leading scores are. But for starters I was glad to be making the weekend after the first round. Yesterday was one of the best rounds of the year, and it just gave me a chance to play two more days. After a good one today, if I have another good one tomorrow, we'll see where it ends up.

It's just great to be able to have two rounds on the weekend.

Q. As a local, had you not made the cut (inaudible.)
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: It would have been pretty rubbish staying home for the weekend. It's me first cut I've made in The Open in four attempts. So that had something to do with it. But, yeah, I didn't really -- there was a lot of people, sort of walking around last night when there shouldn't have been; it was pitch black and cold and wet.

So obviously, this is an experience that you don't get every week. It's been amazing playing in front of everybody and have having the support. Getting clapped on to every green and every tee and people that you know. So having four days of it is a lot better than two.

Q. (Inaudible.)
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: It is what it is. Shot 6-over the first round, so deal with it. That's what you've got to do. Like I say, I mean, people laughed when I said I didn't feel like I played that bad on Thursday, a couple of bad breaks and a couple of bad shots at the wrong time. I didn't hole a putt, and all in all 6-over. From there on in you've just got to do your best, haven't you? To make the cut, last night was a tremendous round. Yeah, I wish I would have started off better. But that's golf and that's life.

So still got to play. Still massive pleasure to play in the weekend of The Open. And I've had amazing crowds and amazing support.

So I know what you mean "if only", but you can't do anything about it, 6-over on Thursday. So to make the cut, and to have a chance if -- I don't know what the weather is going to do, but 4-under today, if it stays nice I might finish around 30th or something. Another low one tomorrow, might top-10 it or something. Just depends on what the conditions are.

We'll see, just not worry about it too much and try and just keep playing decent golf.

Q. What have you learnt about all the expectations and dealt with it (inaudible.)
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: I dealt with it fine. Like I say, you can switch it around if you want, and Royal Troon last year I was -- nobody expected me to do anything and nobody was talking to me. Which one do you prefer?

So, no, I've loved it. I've loved being -- I mean loved being talked about with a chance to win a major and expected as one of the favourites. You can take both parts of it. I'm going to shoot 6-over, you're going to do it in front of the world and you shoot 6-under you are. So ebbs and flows. No, I've loved every minute of being one of the contenders. That's what you practise for. That's what you dream of and that's basically where everybody wants to be. So if you don't like it when you get there, then you've been doing something wrong for the last 20 years. But I've enjoyed it, I really have.

Q. Nice to play with Justin as well?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, we got on well.

Q. (Inaudible.)
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, yeah, no, do, we got on very well. It was brilliant crowds, you know, it was always going to be a great sort of crowd when it was me and Justin, me being local boy and him being Justin Rose.

I enjoyed it a lot. I like playing with him. And it's nice to -- some players that you have a good rhythm with and it's always nice to play with the best players in the world, you always learn something. We got on well and it was a nice two-ball.

Q. (Inaudible.)
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: No, no. I'd forgotten about that, years ago. No, not really, no. Just got on with it. But I was watching it, I think. Don't need to go through it again.

Q. Branden Grace is 5-under par through the front nine. Can you see 62 being possible?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Well, 5-under through nine maybe. Yeah, I don't know what he's done on 10. But 10 is a decent pin. 11, 12 is kind of hard to get through. 13, there are some good pins -- 13 obviously has two par-5s. So he needs about three birdies. Yeah, could do. Yeah, I'll go watch him in.

Q. (Inaudible.)
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Not totally enjoyable. I'd like to have had more of a rest, and you still want to do well. I gave myself the chance to play the weekend and try and maybe get up the board. You're talking about Branden Grace with a 62, there's no reason why none of us can't do it. So you're always trying to force every last ounce out of every round.

Yeah, I felt like I tried my best. And I got a bit of momentum, and then lost it on 9 when it went over the green and that. But you try to do your best as to get as far as up as you can when the conditions are good, because you never know if it switches at The Open or you never know what's going to happen. We are focused and trying to do our best.

Q. Going down 17, with the crowd (inaudible.)
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, I kicked it. Need to have bigger legs or something. Actually one of the people I'd never met before in the crowd, a rare sight (laughter).

Q. (Inaudible.)
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: We were talking about it on the way around and I'm not just saying it because I'm from Southport, but The Open should be here more than every ten years or nine years or whatever it is. Absolutely. I mean I've played four. This is absolutely, not just because they're mine, not just because they are the home crowd, but they are the best crowds. You get so many; I think it's been the biggest selling Open ever. And the course, I think this is one of the best tracks in the world. If I had a say, I'd definitely have it more at Birkdale, yeah.

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