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Golf: Tommy Fleetwood is still carrying the torch for Olympic selection after an uneventful US Open

Tommy Fleetwood is still carrying the torch for Olympic selection after an uneventful US Open with Tyrrell Hatton and Matt Fitzpatrick set to decline the chance to head to Tokyo Games

Tommy Fleetwood wrapped up an uneventful 121st US Open with a final round 73 to finish outside the top 40. Now comes the intriguing bit — whether he will be a surprise nomination for Team GB’s two-man Olympic golf team.

Following a long run of lean form, the Englishman finished behind three players in Tyrrell Hatton, Matt Fitzpatrick and Paul Casey when the qualifying deadline passed on Sunday.

But all the indications from Hatton’s and Fitzpatrick’s camps are that the pair will respectfully decline the chance to go to the Tokyo games, with the latter keen to concentrate on making sure he’s part of Europe’s Ryder Cup team in September.

Tommy Fleetwood still has a chance of making the Tokyo Olympics team this summer

He finished below fellow Brits Tyrell Hatton (R) and Matt Fitzpatrick (L) but both are unlikely to travel to Japan

The enthusiasm shown by Fleetwood and Casey, by contrast, is unabashed.

‘I know it’s going to be a different Olympics this time but I still want to experience it,’ said Casey, 43. ‘I’ve always wanted to be able to call myself an Olympian. I want to wear the uniform, enjoy the competition, everything.’

Fleetwood is understandably reluctant to publicly get his hopes up, and will await official confirmation that Hatton and Fitzpatrick have withdrawn — but there’s no question that he would eagerly take their place.

Fleetwood would eagerly take their place but is not getting his hopes up of selection just yet

That leaves Justin Rose, the gold medal winner in Rio last time, on the outside looking in following a nightmare couple of rounds at Torrey Pines, the course where he became world No 1 in January 2019. 

Adding further salt to the wound is the fact that the first round in Tokyo will take place on July 30. That just happens to be Rose’s 41st birthday.

Fitzpatrick and Hatton are not the only players with serious reservations.

World No 1 Dustin Johnson, Lee Westwood, Bernd Wiesberger from Austria and Australian Adam Scott have withdrawn their names already.

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