GOLFING legend Tony Jacklin says Tommy Fleetwood CAN win The Open saying: “He’s made a dream start.”
Veteran Jacklin is the last Englishman to win The Open on English soil, following his triumph at Royal Lytham in 1969.
PATommy Fleetwood has been backed to go all the way at The Open[/caption]
GettyTony Jacklin is the last Englishman to win it on home soil[/caption]
Sir Nick Faldo has lifted the Claret Jug three times since, but all of those wins – two at Muirfield and one at St Andrews – came in Scotland.
Now, Fleetwood has raised hopes of a first English winner of The Open in 31 years with his superb five-under-par 66 on the opening day at Royal Liverpool.
He ended round one as joint leader with South African amateur Christo Lamprecht and Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo.
Reflecting on his start, Jacklin said: “It’s very encouraging to see the start Tommy has made.
“He has all the skill and ability to go all the way and win it. I am certainly going to be rooting for him.”
Follow the latest from The Open with our live blog.
Offering advice on how he thinks Tommy should approach the next few days he said: “It is vital Tommy stays focused as there are so many great competitors in this year’s tournament.
“But he is now, undoubtedly, one of the favourites to walk away with the title.
“He’s made a dream start, he has the home crowd behind him and the country willing him on too.
“There’s tremendous pride in winning your own Open in the country of your birth.”
Two-time Major Winner Tony, is attending The Open ahead of hosting the Farmfoods British Par 3 next month.
Ironically, Fleetwood has previously taken part in the event at Nailcote Hall, near Coventry and has credited the event in the past for helping sharpen up his short game.
A superstar field of golfers will take part in this year’s event including Ian Woosnam, Michael Campbell, Jean Van De Velde, Scott Drummond, Jarmo Sandelin and Mark Mouland.
Tony was speaking to Champions UK ahead of the Farmfoods British Par 3.
To apply for free tickets, visit www.britishpar3.com.