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Fleetwood will play for victory

Englishman will maintain his style as he seeks Masters win

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Tommy Fleetwood won’t play it safe at the Masters this week

Tommy Fleetwood won’t play it safe at the Masters this week

REUTERS

Tommy Fleetwood won’t play it safe at the Masters this week

Tommy Fleetwood has pledged to maintain his aggressive approach as he aims to go from first to last at the Masters.

Ryder Cup star Fleetwood was the first player to hold a press conference at Augusta National yesterday. The last player to hold one on Sunday evening will do so wearing the champion's green jacket.

There is, of course, the small matter of beating the other 86 players in the field, but Fleetwood carded a third round of 66 on his way to finishing 17th in the Masters last year and was third in the Arnold Palmer Invitational and fifth in the Players Championship.

"The Arnold Palmer in particular I built a lot of confidence that week and then the following week was as confident as I have felt on a golf course," Fleetwood said.

"It's strange when you have the two best finishes of the year and you're disappointed in both of them because I really felt like I had good chances in both and I didn't win either. But overall, everything's in really good shape.

"This is my third time playing and you really get a sense of the difference in how you feel from year one to year two to year three."

Fleetwood's chances of victory at Bay Hill were scuppered by a third round of 76 in the toughest conditions of the week, while he carded a closing 73 at Sawgrass after starting the day a shot off the lead.

A brilliant eagle on the 16th kept his chances of catching Rory McIlroy alive, but Fleetwood then went for the pin on the par-three 17th and found the water instead.

"I didn't think anything of it, I was two behind with two to play and it was the only way I was going to get close to Rory," added Fleetwood, who was fourth and second in the last two US Opens. "I am always going to play to win.

"Winning is what it's all about, winning big tournaments."

Bad weather disrupted the first official day of practice for the 83rd Masters, with players and spectators forced to evacuate Augusta National.

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy were among the players to heed the forecast for afternoon thunderstorms and get their preparation in early. But numerous players were still out on the course and practice range when approaching storms led tournament officials to suspend play in the afternoon.