Tommy Fleetwood of England has won nine times around the world as a pro, but not yet on the PGA Tour, and he might be ready for another chance.
The 32-year-old Fleetwood shot a bogey-free six-under-par 65 in the first round of the 19th Wells Fargo Championship to take a one-stroke lead over five other golfers at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, N.C.
“I just have to keep going and wait for those really big results, and hopefully start contending again up at the top of the leaderboard, and we’ll see what we can do from there,” said Fleetwood, who has finished second four times on the PGA Tour, including twice in majors. “This course beat me up the first two times I played here, but I played pretty well the last time.
“You have days like today. There are plenty of players who shoot great rounds around here. It’s such a beautiful golf course and it’s a pleasure to play, it really, really is, but you just have to play well and that’s all there is to it. I enjoy the challenge, I loved playing today and having a score going and playing like that. I’m looking forward to whatever the week holds. It’s a great course to come and play, but it can just beat you up at times and today was my turn.
“I made some good saves early and then got it going with that eagle at No. 7, and really played well the rest of the way.”
Fleetwood, who won the Scottish and English Amateurs when he was younger, sank that eight-foot eagle putt at No. 7 and added birdies eighth, 14th, 17th and 18th holes in his flawless round, sinking a 21-foot putt at No. 14.
The fifth-ranked Schauffele, from La Jolla and San Diego State, held the lead until hitting his tee shot into the creek that lines the final hole and closed with his second bogey in the last three holes of a 66 that including a 42-foot eagle putt on the 10th hole.
“I really had it going there for a while,” said Schauffele, who won three times on the PGA Tour last season, but has yet to break through this year. “The ball was on a string for a bit. It’s a championship-style golf course, so played really well through 15 holes and then had a little hiccup there coming in, so it is what it is.
“I mean, I can’t call it (my course) quiet yet. But it’s a nice piece of land they have here. It’s a really nice golf course. It’s really hard. And I think all of us pros enjoy coming out here. It’s just the overseed that makes it difficult.
“It was nice that the sun came out today and people came out and supported us.”
Kevin Streelman had three birdies on each nine in another 66 also is in the tie for second with K.H. Lee of South Korea, who made three straight birdies through No. 7; Taylor Moore, who birdied three of the last five holes, and Ryan Palmer, who birdied two of the last three.
Third-ranked Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos and UCLA made a 26-foot eagle putt on the seventh hole in a 67 and is two shots behind in a huge tie for seventh with Sahith Theegala of Chino Hills and Pepperdine, who collected five birdies while finishing on the front nine; Tom Kim of South Korea, who played bogey-free; Kramer Hickock, who birdied five of the last 12 holes; Chris Kirk, who birdied two of the last three; Adam Scott of Australia, who mad a 14-foot eagle putt on the seventh hole; Wyndham Clark, who made four straight birdies through the turn; Matthew NeSmith, who birdied four of the last six holes, and Emiliano Grillo of Argentina, who made three birdies on each nine.
Third-ranked Rory McIlroy, who has won the Wells Fargo three times, had four birdies in a 68 and is in a tie for 16th that includes Justin Thomas, who won the 2019 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow, while sixth-ranked Matt Fitzpatrick of England made two late birdies in a 69 to tie for 25th, and seventh-ranked Max Homa of Valencia and Cal, the defending champion, is in a tie for 36th at 70.
Tenth-ranked Jordan Spieth hit two balls into the creek on the last hole to make a triple-bogey 7 and is tied for 79th at 72.
For complete results, visit https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard