Westwood, Fitzpatrick and Fleetwood boosted by England's Euro heroics

Three Irons! English golf trio Lee Westwood, Matt Fitzpatrick and Tommy Fleetwood have been given a lift by England’s run to the Euro 2020 final after making flying starts to the Scottish Open

  • Lee Westwood, Matt Fitzpatrick and Tommy Fleetwood are all big football fans 
  • The English trio have been watching the national team play at Euro 2020 
  • Their journey to the final has inspired them to perform at the Scottish Open 

Given the strong correlation between football and golf, perhaps it wasn’t surprising to see Lee Westwood, Matt Fitzpatrick and Tommy Fleetwood get off to flying starts in the Scottish Open on Thursday.

All three are keen football fans who have played plenty of pro-ams with members of the England team, so no wonder they emerged from sweet dreams to take advantage of the stunning early conditions.

Mind you, Westwood was rather startled to get to the end of his 65 feeling understandably chipper about his morning’s work, only to be met by a rather different greeting from his caddie, Sam Westwood.

English golf trio Lee Westwood (L), Matt Fitzpatrick (C) and Tommy Fleetwood (R) have been inspired by England’s run to the Euro 2020 final

They have been watching the Three Lionsthis summer and feel they have given them a lift

‘He’s disappointed with the round because I had a first-round 62 here last year,’ said Westwood, regarding the reaction of his son. ‘He thinks I’m getting worse.’

Westwood has been getting worse when compared to his two runner-up finishes in Florida in March, but he puts that down to falling into the trap of playing too much golf during a lengthy spell in America.

‘It’s something I need to look at as I get older,’ said the 48-year-old, who won this event way back in 1998. ‘I’ve hardly hit a ball since the US Open, concentrating on doing some work in the gym, and I feel charged and refreshed.

‘I’m really pleased with that round. I didn’t have a putt for par over 2ft, which underlines how stress-free it was.’

Westwood was pleased with his first round in Scotland that saw him fire a flawless 65

Westwood acknowledged the bounce effect from the football. ‘It’s given everyone in the country a lift, hasn’t it?’ he noted.

‘I said before the start that England had the best squad and we’re seeing that as the tournament goes on, as injuries bite and they bring on better players.’

Fleetwood and avid golfer Harry Kane are firm friends, and the former has texted the latter a few times during the Euros.

Fleetwood (L) is friends with England captain Harry Kane (C) and called him ‘very competitive’

‘I got to know him a few years ago at a Paddy Power golf event where we had a three-hole match,’ said the Everton fan.

‘He’s a good player, very competitive. But he didn’t beat me.’

Fleetwood looks on the cusp of playing well again, this being the latest positive sign ahead of the Open next week.

Fitzpatrick compiled a characteristically tidy 66 featuring no bogeys. ‘No complaints, either,’ he said cheerfully.

Fitzpatrick caught the eye with 66 and said he had ‘no complaints’ with his display

All three ended the day looking up at another Englishman, as late-developing Jack Senior posted a wonderful 64 to continue his encouraging progress this season.

He looked quite a prospect when he beat Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas in the 2011 US Amateur Championship. Now 32, the Lancastrian has finally progressed from the Challenge Tour.

Englishman Ian Poulter breezed around the course in 66. But Rory McIlroy was very much the back marker in this starry group with a 70.

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