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Spieth’s putter, Fleetwood’s first win

Spieth’s putter, Fleetwood’s first win

Tommy Fleetwood of England lines up a putt on the 13th green during the first round of the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club on March 16, 2023 in Palm Harbor, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

Somehow, some way, Tommy Fleetwood has yet to add a PGA Tour win to his resume. He’s been a Ryder Cup hero, he’s won seven times worldwide but he continues to search for his maiden Tour victory.

After a 3-under 68 around the Copperhead Course Thursday, he’s in prime position to check that off his wish list.

Fleetwood started hot, birdieing his first two holes of the day thanks to a well-played par 5 at No. 1 and a dart from 172 yards at the second to two feet. He’d add one more before turning with a 3-under 33.

Fleetwood traded a birdie at 10 for a bogey at 11 but bounced back with another circle at the par-5 14th. He failed to get up and down from the fringe on 18 to close with a bogey and a 3-under round.

This isn’t the first time he’s played well in Palm Harbor. Fleetwood, who’s coming off a top 30 at the Players, finished 16th here just last season.

Friday’s afternoon wave will have to contend with the worst of the weather. With a solid effort in the morning, Fleetwood should reside near the top of the board.


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