Colonial Country Club’s Horrible Horsehoe wasn’t too horrible for Tommy Fleetwood on Friday.
The Englishman, who is making his debut in the Charles Schwab Challenge this week, birdied every hole during the course’s toughest stretch.
“You don’t really think about it when you play,” Fleetwood said. “You just hit each shot as they come. But, yeah, Horrible Horseshoe? Job done.”
Fleetwood, 31, is the only player who has birdied Nos. 3, 4 and 5 on the same day through the first two rounds this year. Those holes, which make a horseshoe around the driving range, are consistently among the most difficult in the tournament.
The par-4 third, a 468-yard dogleg left, has been the eighth-toughest hole so far. The par-3 fourth, which can stretch as long as 247 yards and has never been aced in tournament history, is playing as the third-hardest hole. Golf’s best players have made only 18 birdies on No. 4 going into the weekend.
And the par-4 fifth, a 474-yard dogleg right, remains the most difficult hole on the course. Players have posted a dozen more bogeys (63) on it than any other hole. There’s also been eight double bogeys and one “other.”
On No. 3, Fleetwood hit a nice approach shot out of the right rough from 161 yards to within 6 feet and made the birdie putt. He then rolled in a 36-footer for birdie on No. 4. On No. 5, he had a terrific approach shot from 215 yards that left him in tap-in range.
“On No. 4, the tee was forward (playing 214 yards), so that wasn’t a 3-iron, it was a 6-iron, but I made a 36-footer. So that’s a bonus,” Fleetwood said. “Then the fifth, I’ve just been drilling this 2-iron off the tee. It leaves myself a long way in, but I hit a 6-iron close.
“We were very happy moving on. It’s such a tough stretch.”
Fleetwood parred every hole on the Horrible Horseshoe during his opening round on Thursday. He shot an even-par 70 on Thursday followed by a 1-under 69 on Friday. He’s tied for 40th, 8 back of the leaders.
As far as his debut in Fort Worth, Fleetwood has enjoyed it.
“I love it. I love how it plays,” he said. “I love playing the courses where they reward good golf, and when it’s golf that’s not so good, it makes it difficult for you when you’re not in the fairway.
“It challenges every aspect of your game, including your mental side. I love it. This is my first time playing the tournament. I’ve wanted to play it for a while, and I’ll be back hopefully.”