Tommy Fleetwood is eyeing the Portugal Masters as preparation for the US Open, which tees off at Winged Foot Golf Club next week.
The Englishman has been out of action for the past two weeks after returning to the UK from his exit in the first FedEx Cup playoff event at The Northern Trust, but is hoping the Portugal Masters could sharpen his focus for the second Major of the year.
Given how difficult last week’s Andalucia Masters was, the European Tour players will be eager for some low rounds when they tee off at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course on Thursday.
‘The Portugal Masters was an ideal opportunity to get some competitive golf in and come back on the European Tour, which I haven’t been to for a while,’ Fleetwood said on Wednesday.
‘I haven’t played particularly great for a few weeks. I’ve gone back and worked on some things. I think when guys play the week before – and to be honest I don’t do it a lot, I’ve always thought I prefer getting to Majors early but this year clearly things are very different – it’s about hitting shots.
‘It’s all well and good practising and playing at your leisure but I think in a tournament environment actually picking a spot, hitting it and seeing how that feels – and by the way I’ve never been to a tournament that I don’t want to win and this week is exactly that, I would love to compete this week – I learn from certain shots that I hit.’
The 29-year-old hasn’t played at the Portugal Masters since 2016 but started hitting his early career straps at the event with some decent performances before that, claiming a T12 in the 2014 edition.
It will also be Fleetwood’s first hit-out on the Tour for some time after deciding to compete on the PGA Tour’s restart since the Covid-19 break.
‘I’ve never had a run at the tournament but I still feel like I’ve always enjoyed coming here, I think the hotel’s great,’ said Fleetwood.
‘The course is different this year. There’s a bit of rough up, so it’s a tougher test. But I just think it was the perfect scenario for me. It’s great coming back and seeing everybody that you’ve played with for a long, long time.
‘The European Tour definitely, for us that have grown up on the Tour, has a beautiful atmosphere to it. We’re in a bubble right now but as soon as you sort of come back there’s a feel about it that is really, really nice.’