July 15, 2021
Sandwich, Kent, England, UK
Q. 3-under par 67 this afternoon. How satisfied are you with that performance?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, extremely. I felt like I played really, really solid. I bogeyed 4, didn't feel like -- 1-over through four or five holes, didn't really feel like I'd done much wrong.
I just kept plugging away and eventually started giving myself chances and got under par and kept it there. Had a little bit of a sticky bit in the middle. I bogeyed 13, and 14 I was actually in the rough and actually managed to make an amazing birdie really and set me up for the last few holes and a great birdie to finish.
First round of The Open, you can only lose it on the first day, you can't win it, and it's just nice to have shot a good round and get going and move on to tomorrow.
Q. It seemed like the conditions were trickier this afternoon. Did you feel that was the case?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: I think so. You don't get a fair representation when you're watching it on the TV, so this morning watching a few of the guys play, some guys were shooting some great scores, so you obviously felt like there was chances out there and it was scorable, but it felt hard. It felt really hard this afternoon.
There was some really demanding golf shots, and there was just kind of no letup to the golf course.
Yeah, like it felt tough. You don't really know if everybody else is feeling the same thing all the time, but good scoring, yeah, it seems like it was the -- you expect it to calm down a little bit. You're playing it, you've got that late tee time and it's like 6:00, 7;00, 8:00, you're thinking it might calm down, but it just didn't seem like it did.
Q. You were in the side of the draw that was probably two shots worse off in terms of the conditions today. How happy are you to go in with 3-under?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Just very. It was kind of -- it's nice and it's not nice to hear that it was the two shots tougher side. Obviously it gives me confidence that I played really, really well, as well as I thought I did, to shoot that score.
You just take what you get in the Open and hopefully you can make the most of it. Today I felt like I hit a lot of solid golf shots, and I made a couple of really good up-and-downs, but I putted well.
Like I did a lot of things well, and yeah, to get around 3-under, and when you say it's like the harder side of the draw, it obviously leaves a nice feeling going into tomorrow, and you hope that throughout the week you can get the good side at some point.
Q. Your driving today, you only made five fairways out of the 14 in regulation.
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: It felt better than that.
Q. You probably didn't miss that much when you did miss the fairway. It was probably the short rough. But when you take into context then that you made 13 out of 18 greens in regulation and you weren't too far off when you did miss them, how much confidence does that bring you when you take that into maybe slightly more benign conditions tomorrow morning hopefully?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Well, yeah, let's hope so. I think -- I did it -- I hit three or four sort of ropey tee shots and I felt like every time I did, I got -- sometimes it's luck of the draw. The rough is particularly thick a lot of the time this week, and I got some poor lies.
I hit a couple of -- I hit a really good drive on 10 and that was one of my birdies when it was just greenside, and that counts as a missed fairway. I hit a really good shot off the fifth with a 3-wood trying to be aggressive and that just ran through into the semi. So some of the tee shots were good, they just missed the fairways.
Yeah, my iron play was really good. I felt like I hit so many solid, solid golf shots, and when you feel like you have control of your rhythm and your ball flight, the more you can put it in play, obviously the better, no matter whether it's calm or windy.
I think there's times where you can be aggressive out on this golf course, and I'll try and do that throughout the week. But yeah, like I hit two or three poor tee shots that I'd like to tidy up, but for the most part I was giving myself a look into the greens, and like you say, when I did miss, it wasn't that bad, so I'll try and just carry on on that kind of pattern.
Q. How nice was it to finish with such a kind of -- you could nearly -- you couldn't have placed the ball better on 18. To finish with that birdie with three perfect shots, how nice was it to finish on that high note?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Well, yeah, it does, it leaves you feeling great about the day. It just makes that score feel better.
Nice coming down the last with a bit of a crowd that had waited there for the end of the day. They were cheering me on. Like you say, I hit a fantastic tee shot off that 18th. Really cut the hole down, and then a lovely wedge and then rolled the putt in, and you just feel -- it was just a boost to the end of what was already a really, really good day. To just gain one out of it on the last just feels really, really good. So onwards.
Q. I'm sure you don't need me to remind you that it's been a really long time since an Englishman has won The Open. I know you'd take any of the four majors, but what would it mean to win this one in England?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, it's very, very special, I think, with this event and being home grown, growing up watching The Open, it gives very, very special feelings whenever the event comes around.
With that, it brings its challenges, it brings an amazing opportunity to accomplish a dream. It brings its challenges of the more you want something, the harder it is to stay present, the harder it is to focus on all the things that you try and do week in, week out.
I love The Open so much. Like I love links golf. I love the history of this event. And yeah, it's been a long time since an Englishman has won The Open, and I would love to be the next one. So we'll see.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports