The former World Number One finished second at last week's BMW International Open after a brilliant closing 64 and a top three this week would assure him of a place at Royal St George's Golf Club for the season's final Major Championship.
But after carding seven birdies and two bogeys at Mount Juliet Estate, he is fully determined to take home the trophy this week after securing four runner up finishes since his last victory at the 2014 U.S. Open Championship.
"The whole week it was huge for me because I was playing really consistent golf all week and I was just waiting for the one day where you make a few putts. On that Sunday that obviously was a really nice putting day for me even though I played good," he said of his closing round last week.
👀🇪🇺@MKaymer59 said he hasn’t given up on playing his way into @RyderCupEurope just yet and he’s started well here at @mountjuliet this morning.— DDF Irish Open (@DDFIrishOpen) July 1, 2021
Kaymer is T-2nd and 3 shots back from early clubhouse leader Lucas Herbert.🇦🇺#DDFIrishOpen ☘️ pic.twitter.com/vODudv6F1O
"It gives you the last little piece that you need in order to compete and put yourself in contention and then to get over the line.
"I was close for the last year and a half but I didn't really feel like I could actually do it because my game was not consistent enough but now my game is consistent enough.
"Obviously playing good but the main goal is to get into The Open. It's the only tournament that was always one of my dreams when I was a kid. I wanted to win the event but it's hard to win if you don't play."
Fleetwood recovered from an opening bogey with six birdies and was satisfied with his day's work.
"A lovely first day, really," he said. "A bit of a clumsy shot after a good tee shot on one but overall I scored really, really well. Didn't make any mistakes.
"I can hit it better, I think I can bring the right side of the golf course in a little bit. But overall my misses were all one way, which is a nice sort of comfortable feeling and I feel like my swing is getting closer and closer.
"So it's nice to have a positive start to a tournament and a positive round where you get the right side of the golf course and gain some momentum towards the end of the round. So, I'm happy."