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April 7, 2018

Tommy Fleetwood

Augusta, Georgia

MODERATOR: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I'd like to welcome Tommy Fleetwood to the interview room. Tommy, great round today. 66, seven birdies, including five in a row on 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16, a 6‑under 66. Great play.
Maybe you could start by talking about your round today, and then we'll open it up to questions.
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, sure. I mean, the front nine was sort of steady, but I played great from the get‑go. I hit two good shots into 1 and literally from sort of the first two, three, four holes I was in a good rhythm. The only time I was out of position, got the wind a little bit wrong on 5 and into a bunker, but kind of had my chances the first 11 holes and didn't make enough of them. And then it was nice to hole one on 12 and then just get on that little bit of a run.
Yeah, it's strange coming off Augusta disappointed with a 66, but it was a very, very good day.

Q. How close do you think you're going to have to be to which a chance to win?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: No idea. Depends on conditions. I mean, I've watched Masters in the past, and I know anything can happen. I suppose it depends on how many players there are that are up there in the mix. I think probably see where Patrick and Rory get to at the end of the day, but it doesn't matter that much to me. I'm just happy that I shot that score today and put myself into some kind of spot on the leaderboards.
It was just nice to do that, really.

Q. How does it feel to be a part of a nice little resurgence in English golf the last couple years? I think, what, 13 wins by you guys in the last three seasons. Is it nice to be part of that trend?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, very much so. It's been happening for a few years, and like two years ago, I was not close to being part of it. So it's been nice to‑‑ yeah, it's good for English golf sort of back home to have that many players that are doing so well.
It is nice. It's nice to be talked about as one of the guys that are doing well, whether it's from England or Europe or wherever you're being talked about. It's nice to have your game going in a good direction.

Q. How were the playing conditions out there today?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: I mean, it's easy as you're ever going to get them at Augusta, pretty much, I think. The greens were kind of very receptive. They were a foot or two slower than they were yesterday, which caught me out a little bit, just putting uphill, you leave them in a good spot, and then putting uphill it's hard to actually give it enough to get it to the hole.
It was there for a score today, really. I've never‑‑ I mean, I've only been here twice, but I've never played it when it's felt sort of that scorable.

Q. Your demeanor has always struck me as being very even. I'm wondering whether you could tell me, what makes you angry? Are you the sort of fellow that revs the accelerator at the traffic lights?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Well, I'm looking at Clare in the corner because she knows that I'm not good in traffic. I'm not really an angry person. I might get hot and bothered now and again, but luckily enough I'm naturally kind of patient and stay calm enough most of the time, whether it's good or bad. I feel like it's a nice attribute to have. I like staying like that. I don't want to change.

Q. When was the last time you got hot and bothered?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Probably traffic last night (laughter). Any time there's traffic, that does me in. So it can happen quite often.

Q. All you've achieved in the last year or two, do you think your next step now is to be competing on the last day of a major?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: I think, yeah, if you look at steps in your career, I'm trying to win consistently in Europe. I've come over and played in America this year a bit more, and I guess I want to win in America. And getting up there on the leaderboards in majors, you know, I'm guessing that comes before winning one, most of the time. Sometimes it doesn't.
But yeah, I'm on the right track and I've just got to keep improving. Majors are the toughest tests, and that's where your game gets found out most of the time. If you can perform and have confidence on the major courses, it's going to help you all the way through no matter what you're doing.

Q. What was it like playing with Tiger? Anything different than you're accustomed to? Obviously here, the environment is a little bit more controlled.
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, I mean, playing with Tiger Woods at the Masters, doesn't come any better, does it. He was great.
I said yesterday, if Tiger himself, if you didn't know who he was and you'd never met him before and you had no idea, I'd have walked off and I'd thought, I really enjoyed playing with him there today. It was great.
So I enjoyed that side of it. It was nice to be kind of at the forefront of the atmosphere of Tiger Woods's return, really. I enjoyed it. And I think the fans here in particular are very, very good. They are very respectful and very, you know‑‑ very nice to play in front of. For two days it was busy and it was great, and there were good vibes and I enjoyed it.

Q. Which do you consider your best shot today? Obviously you had a great round.
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Well, there was two, as golf shots, the second into 11 and the second into 13 were the best golf shots I hit. Those were pretty much exactly as I pictured them and they went exactly where I thought they would go. 2‑putted them both, but kind of those two were the best shots, I think.

Q. How would you have felt after the first two days how you played, and also the fact that your game seems fairly suited here because of the high draws, is that kind of the mind‑set you took in?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: As a golf course, it fits my eye and it does suit my‑‑ I feel comfortable on most shots. But then you have Augusta where you have to spend so much time learning sort of different parts of the golf course and where it can catch you out and how the greens play and how certain approach shots play, which takes time.
Generally people don't win on their first or second attempt. I know it has happened recently with Danny and Jordan, but it doesn't happen that much. As much as it suits my eye, and hopefully I'll have many more times where I'll play the tournament, there's so much to learn on the golf course.
And I'm kind of really enjoying doing it. You know, we turn up at so many tournaments and we have two days to prepare and you can generally get a really good feel for it, and Augusta, you never feel like you've done enough. You never feel like you can actually do enough. I've enjoyed that side of it.

Q. What will you draw from the experience last year at Erin Hills where you were in contention?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: I think mostly just the way I felt. I was really comfortable the whole time I was in contention. I enjoyed it. I felt like‑‑ I felt like I had a chance on that Sunday, and I felt like I didn't play well in the middle stretch, and Brooks was unbelievable that day, and sometimes you just get beat by a better man.
The way I felt on the first tee and going around, nothing was daunting. I didn't worry too much. I wasn't struggling with anything. I just enjoyed being in contention at a major. That's ultimately where you want to be. And to win them, which is what everybody's sort of dreams and aspirations are, you have to be in contention and you have to be able to play in contention in a major; for me, that was the biggest thing.

Q. Do you know what the most birdies in a row you've ever made, and what's it like to get on a run like you did today with five in a row?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: I've probably made a few against my dad or something or playing against my stepkids at home, but not in majors. I don't know how many I've made then.
It was great to get on that run. After 11, I hit a great shot and I had six or seven feet for birdie and completely misjudged how the slope played on that green and left it short, which you always hate doing.
Then holed one on 12 and then just started a run of really, really good iron shots. I had a chance on 17, too, but it wasn't to be.
Around that corner, when you get to 14, 15, 16, the atmosphere is always very good there and the noise is up, and it was nice to be getting something going around there.
MODERATOR: Tommy, great playing today and all the best tomorrow.

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