Tommy Fleetwood makes history during final round of U.S. Open

Tommy Fleetwood walks on the 12th green during the final round of the U.S. Open at the Los Angeles Country Club.
Tommy Fleetwood walks on the 12th green during the final round of the U.S. Open at the Los Angeles Country Club on Sunday. Fleetwood became the first player in U.S. Open history to shoot 63 or better over two rounds.
(Matt York / Associated Press)
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Tommy Fleetwood put it simply Sunday, how he became the first player in U.S. Open history to shoot two rounds of 63 or better: “Missed a six-footer on the first, missed a five-footer on the last, and then everything in between was really, really good.”

Apparently ignoring a bogey on the 16th hole, Fleetwood, of England, shot 73-69-70 his first three rounds at L.A. Country Club to begin Sunday at two over and 12 shots behind the leaders.

He birdied the second hole, eagled the sixth, birdied the eighth, ninth and 11th and eagled the 14th. That made him the seventh player over the last 30 years with two eagles in a U.S. Open round, and the fourth over that time in the fourth round, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.


Wyndham Clark captured his first major golf title, finishing one stroke ahead of Rory McIlroy to win the 2023 U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club.

June 18, 2023

Missing that short putt on 18 cost him a chance for the third 62 in the tournament. He finished tied for fifth overall, five shots behind the winner, Wyndham Clark. Fleetwood also tied the lowest U.S. Open final-round score, matching his feat at Shinnecock Hills in 2018 and Johnny Miller’s round at Oakmont in 1973.

Unlike at Shinnecock, Fleetwood said he never felt in contention Sunday.

“I was enjoying it and trusting my game,” he said. “I never thought too far ahead.”

Dustin Johnson stalls

Dustin Johnson, who finished tied for 10th, seven shots behind Clark, likely won’t want to see the North Course’s par-four second hole again soon. The former world No. 1 scored a cumulative six over on it, including a second-round quadruple bogey and bogeys Saturday and Sunday.

The 497-yard hole played the fourth hardest for the week, averaging 4.3 strokes per golfer; on Sunday, it was the second toughest, averaging 4.42, according to Elias.

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June 18, 2023

Johnson’s second-hole problems matched the highest per-hole score by any player at the event: Eric Cole was six over on No. 5, Hideki Matsuyama six over on No. 11 and Cameron Young six over on No. 13. Johnson was six over on a hole at one other major: No. 10 at the 2009 Open Championship at Turnberry.

For his part, he didn’t blame just the second hole for his troubles this year.

“I hit a lot of great shots, gave myself lots of opportunities for birdie,” he said. “Just didn’t hole enough putts.”

Locals fall short

Collin Morikawa didn’t have the U.S. Open result he wanted, but the Los Angeles native certainly enjoyed playing in one in his hometown.


“Oh, it was amazing,” said Morikawa, who finished tied with Patrick Cantlay, formerly of Long Beach, for 14th, both eight shots behind Clark.

Morikawa said LACC’s North Course “played how I thought it was going to play,” although for a U.S. Open, “maybe the easy holes are a little too easy out here, and that’s weird to say, but maybe [the] fairways need to be brought in a little bit.”

For him, having the U.S. Open in Los Angeles was more than just about golf.

“Everything that surrounded this entire week for me was a lot,” he said after noting the redevelopment investment in the local Maggie Hathaway golf course, and the FORE Youth Project for which he is honorary chairman.

“It was exciting, very good, meaningful impact on the community,” Morikawa said, “so when I look back, hopefully we can look back at that and realize what we did for this kind of week.”

He and Cantlay weren’t the only PGA veterans from Southern California who didn’t have the U.S Open they wanted.


Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele, who both shot record-breaking first-round 62s, finished five and three under par — and tied for fifth and 10th overall — respectively.

At 12 shots behind, Sahith Theegala ended up tied for 27th. Phil Mickelson and Max Homa missed the cut, with first and second rounds of 69-74 and 68-76, respectively.

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June 18, 2023

The four Stanford golf team members who qualified — Alex Yang of Newport Beach and Barclay Brown, Michael Thorbjornsen and Karl Vilips — also all missed the cut.

Four amateur golfers made the cut, with Gordon Sargent, 20, of Birmingham, Ala., posting the low score among them: four over for the event, tied for 39th overall, 14 shots behind Clark.

Sargent, the world’s top-ranked amateur, won the NCAA Division I men’s individual title as a freshman at Vanderbilt in May 2022, and received a special invitation to play in the Masters in April, the first amateur to get one since 2000.
He missed the cut in that event.

After posting 69 on Sunday, Sargent said it was “cool” beating the 18 other U.S. Open amateurs.

“It means a lot and gives me a lot of confidence, especially going into amateur golf,” Sargent said, his eye on the U.S. Amateur Championship in August.


Herbert Lowe is a Times visiting academic fellow and senior lecturer at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications.

Complete coverage of the 2023 U.S. Open as Los Angeles Country Club, the first time L.A. has hosted a major tournament in more than 75 years.

June 18, 2023