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May 23, 2015

Tommy Fleetwood


Q.  The fourth, can you describe the shot and how much you enjoyed it?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD:  First of all, it was a really good drive, and then we had 198 to the pin with a little downbreeze and a little off the right.  It was pretty much a normal 7‑iron.  Hit the perfect shot six, seven, eight feet right of the pin and luckily it spun left and gone in and that's the first one I've ever had.

Q.  An eagle on 12, 6‑under on the par 5s.  What was your strategy in playing the par 5s?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD:  Well, 4 and 12 played short.  I hit 7‑iron to both of them.  They are generally par 4s.  And 17, again, the tee was forward but playing back into the wind which is has not been and I had two great shots to get on the green and holed a good putt coming back, six‑foot.
I was disappointed not to birdie the last because I wanted to keep my record on the par 5s.  4 and 12 were holes where you had to pick shots.

Q.  You're playing great golf.  Has something clicked recently?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD:  Yeah, a new coach, been working with Pete Cowen for a couple of months, and the work we've been doing has been really starting to pay off.  I have a lot less shape on my shots.  I'm driving it better, which is generally my strength.
I think just my whole game is getting better and when it's like that, it's good to just show it, bring it off the practise ground and put it on to the course.  The last month or so I've been playing really good golf.

Q.  In the Match Play you beat some great players.  Did that give you a boost of confidence?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD:  Yeah, any time you go to one of the biggest events in the world with the best players and you put in a good performance, it's always going to give you confidence.  That was good, and I generally played a bunch of Europeans, as well.  That was great for me going over there and playing well I'm just hoping to carry that form on and it's good to be competing here now.

Q.  Tell us about the albatross.
TOMMY FLEETWOOD:  That's about as good as you can play a hole of golf really, and it was a good move early on, really good drive, 198 to the pin, a little downbreeze, a little off the right and it was a perfect 7‑iron.
Obviously you take it on the green and try to give yourself a chance of an eagle but once it pitched and moved left, it always looked good but I had no idea it was going to go in and we were pretty excited about that one.

Q.  It tell you it's going to be a special day and I take it it is, the way you played the par 5s, in particular; a round of 65, right up there.
TOMMY FLEETWOOD:  You have to try and calm down after that, and I fired a 5‑iron over the green with a little bit of adrenaline going through there.  Once we got off to that fast start, you're in the tournament because you start the day six off the lead and then an albatross and you're 4‑under through four and you're in the tournament.  It's important to calm down, and another eagle later on, massively important, and it's good that from today I've gained shots and I've moved myself up the leaderboard so now onto Sunday.

Q.  Essentially how the week has panned out, you were in the tournament, you slipped back and you're right in with a vengeance.
TOMMY FLEETWOOD:  I played okay yesterday.  I didn't play great and gave a couple of shots away.  Depends what Frankie does at the top but you know, had a great day today and got ourselves up there.

Q.  One of the great shots of this championship, over 550 yards.
TOMMY FLEETWOOD:  That's a handy move when you make a 2 on a par 5.  The most important thing is to get the tee shot away which I did first, and had 198 yards, a little down breeze off the right, which was a perfect 7.  Before you know it, it got in the hole and we didn't quite know what to do.  A 2‑under on a par 5 and we made a big move.

Q.  Wobbly was very happy.
TOMMY FLEETWOOD:  He was.  It was his choice of club, actually, because I was thinking maybe one less and it would kick forward.  So that's why he was so excited.

Q.  And the club was?

Q.  And an eagle in the bag, as well, as memorable rounds go, that has to be right up there?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD:  It was great to play.  From early on the crowd was on my side and they were really great with the support they gave me.  When you have the crowd carrying you on their back and as many as there is this week, it's just brilliant to play.  It was really fantastic today.

Q.  Looks like you'll have more ground to make up if you want to win the title tomorrow, but how do you like your position?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD:  At the moment, winning kind of depends on what Frankie is doing.  He's again playing well today.
So all you can do is kind of concentrate on what you're doing and another round like today won't do me any harm.  I started the day 4‑under; I started the day six back and I'm going to be closer I think hopefully.  Any time you get close to the lead on a Saturday, that's good.

Q.  Was the drive just over 350 then?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD:  Well, it was something like that.  We'll take 330 down the middle, whatever it was.

Q.  You talked about Pete Cowen; less shape in your shots or more?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD:  Less shape, because the one problem I always have is I tend to hit a big draw if I'm playing bad.  And the more we got through this year, I had two or three months where the club was getting behind me and I was struggling, really.  I was either hitting a big block or I was hitting a hook.
When I got to Doral, one of the toughest courses I've ever played and that was a nightmare more me and the course just completely ate me alive.  The stuff we've done with Pete has been excellent, really, and it's made a massive difference.

Q.  Can you take us through the albatross?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD:  Perfect drive where I went to hit it off the right.  It plays shorter, that hole, anyway, so it was a perfect 7‑iron.  You're aiming ten foot right of the pin so I've hit a great should and it just spun in left and before we knew it had gone in.  That's my first one ever.

Q.  6‑under on the par 5s, is that a particular strategy to attack those?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD:  I think par 5s, you've got to pick them off, basically.  4 and 12 were playing short.  I hit 7‑iron to both of them.  17 and 18 are not easy holes.  17, even though the tee is forward you have to hit a good drive.  I hit a big drive today and still had to hit 5‑wood into a narrow green.
17 is no gimmie and 18 you have to give the tee shot away and sometimes you're better hitting it in the bunker like I did, so you can hit a wedge in. 

Q.  Going out, did you sense there was a low score in the offing?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD:  I didn't think much about it.  To be honest, anything in the 60s is a good target when you're going out and once you got off to the good start you just try and move on and you have to sort of calm down but keep the goals the same.  It's easy to get excited when you're 4‑under through four.  And like I say, fired a 5‑iron over the back of the greenon 5; that went miles once I'd had an albatross.
Yeah, once you got off to a good start, then you have got to build on it.  But apart from that, generally around here anything in the 60s is good, but the scoring has been quite low today.

Q.  Could you talk about tomorrow, does contending for Europe's Flagship Event, is that‑‑
TOMMY FLEETWOOD:  It ranks as high as you can get, doesn't it.  It's the biggest event we play on The European Tour and it's The European Tour players' fifth major.  You look forward to playing it every year.  So if you're competing in it for the title, it's massive.
I think it's one of them tournaments where so many great players have won it, and it's just one that you want on your mantelpiece at the end of your career.

Q.  Been a few years since Gleneagles and you have not been playing badly by any stretch but how keen are you to get another win?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD:  I think especially the last six, seven, eight months, I've had a lot of top 5s and a lot of top threes.  I've came close and people have just played better than me.  There's not much I could have done about it.  It's just such a fine line between winning and finishing second and third.
Obviously if those had been wins, then I would be a lot higher up in the World Rankings and things might be a bit different.  You just want to win and you want to be remembered for winning and that's generally what it's all about.
You know, it would be great to win this week.

Q.  In your work with Pete, can you break down how many less shots you would play around or is that too difficult a question?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD:  Well, compared to Doral, about 30 I think (laughter).  At least it was guaranteed money that week, that was the only thing.  I think just generally, you have more confidence out there with the shots you're picking.
When I'm playing bad, I can't hold it up at all, which is important when you're playing.  You can't win with one shot.  So the stuff we are doing has been massive for me.  Having a fade in the bag, because I didn't have one before, even Gleneagles when I won, I played pretty much with a draw all week.
At Doral, I played practise rounds with Henrik Stenson and Graeme McDowell.  I was playing terrible and they played quite well in the practise rounds, and you watched them and I knew in my own head, I knew that I couldn't compete with them at the time.
So any time you feel like that, you have to do something about it.  I had spoke to Pete a few times and he's one of Wobbly's best mates, and I was lucky enough when I asked, he said he would work with me.  He's given 50 years of his life to the game and it's a privilege to work with him.  You have to make the most of it.

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