The best year of Tommy Fleetwood's career continued Sunday as he shot a bogey-free 66 to beat Peter Uihlein by one stroke at the HNA French Open in Paris. Fleetwood, who finished at 12 under, was flawless throughout and birdied five of his first 14 before cruising home with four pars for the championship.

Uihlein mounted a charge with a 31 on the second nine, but it wasn't quite enough as he missed a bunker shot on No. 18 that would have sent the pair to a playoff. Thorbjorn Olesen, Alexander Bjork and Mike Lorenzo-Vera tied for third at 8 under. 

Fleetwood flexed at flagsticks all day and hit 85 percent of greens in regulation. On a punishing course like Le Golf National, he played about as sublimely as one can play.

"It was good," said Fleetwood of the round. "From start to finish, I nearly holed my first two iron shots. I didn't mis-strike a shot at all. I played great today. I felt comfy today. It's always great to test your game and test what you work on every day under the ultimate pressure."

Fleetwood closed the tournament with no bogeys and six birdies over his last 23 holes. His reward for winning the second tournament of the European Tour's new Rolex Series is a trip into the top 15 in the world, his highest ever world ranking. Fleetwood also won the Abu Dhabi Championship by one over Dustin Johnson earlier this season.

"Life has been great," said Fleetwood, who went through the wilderness for a bit in 2016. He dropped to No. 188 in the world after getting into the top 50 earlier in his career. He has since rocketed back up all the way past names like Phil Mickelson, Louis Oosthuizen and Brandt Snedeker.

 "Life has been a lot better," he said. "When you enjoy doing your job, no matter what part of it it is. That's a massive, massive positive. Just to be enjoying golf again, it took a lot of hard work. Life's just great."

It certainly has been recently.

Fleetwood finished fourth at the U.S. Open, second at the WGC-Mexico Championship and second at the Shenzhen International in addition to that win in Abu Dhabi. He noted that he's playing golf at a higher level than he ever has before. Just in time, too, as The Open Championship returns to his part of England (Southport) in three weeks at Royal Birkdale.

"It's going to be a massive week for me," said Fleetwood. "More than anything it's going to be the support. I'm going to be playing in front of crowds I've never had before. It's going to be an amazing experience from start to finish. Whether I do well or do bad I'm going to have a lot of people rooting for me, and that's going to be just lovely."

Fleetwood's fifth gear is immense as he showed this week in France. Part of me wonders if this stretch of tremendous golf starting at the U.S. Open a few weeks ago was him peaking a little too soon for The Open, but he'll certainly go in as one of the favorites. And he should.

Despite having never made the cut at the French Open in a handful of attempts, Fleetwood never shot over par this week and made just four bogeys in 72 on a course set to host the Ryder Cup next year, another tournament Fleetwood will almost definitely attend.

His game might not be renowned in the U.S., but Fleetwood is the complete package. Great ball-striker, sweet touch, a sense of the moment and some solid putting despite what my pal Kevin Van Valkenburg described as a putting grip that resembles a yoga pose.

Most importantly, he's a fanatic of the sport. We saw that at Erin Hills a few weeks ago. U.S. Opens, even ones played at easy venues, are supposed to be a beating. Just four days of complete self-loathing before you get a week or three off. But Fleetwood waltzed through Erin Hills like it was a buddies vacation trip. Even in defeat on Sunday where he finished fourth, Fleetwood looked fresh enough to go another 18. He gleefully told a surprised Rich Beem of Sky Sports that he was loading up a few hours later for Germany where he finished T6 the week after the U.S. Open. Then he pummeled a wicked tough course in Paris this week. 

That's a lot of golf.

It is a cliche to say that one player wins more than another because he wants it more or has more heart. But in a sport where the travel and the grind can wear on you like no other (especially when you travel worldwide like Fleetwood), the advantage of truly loving golf shouldn't overlooked. Fleetwood has some "I can't believe I get to do this for a living and people come out watch!" to him. That's a good thing. 

His choked-up, held-off swing is a treat, but the joy that exudes as he meanders all over the planet wielding those Nike sticks is effervescent. He's got a perpetual half smile that seems to say he's always in on a joke the rest of us are not privy to. And as he walks fairways toying with that tremendous head of hair, it seems obvious there is nowhere in the world he would rather be and nothing else he would rather do than win elite golf tournaments. 

Fleetwood plays with a boundless boy-like joy some pros spend a career trying to recapture. It's fun to watch.

So on a big day of golf with two majors stateside on the PGA Tour Champions and LPGA Tour plus a PGA Tour event, it was sweet to see Fleetwood get this second European Tour win this year and set himself up for even greater glory at Birkdale. Winning an Open in your hometown? And he thinks life is great now.