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October 3, 2018

Tommy Fleetwood

Carnoustie, Kingsbarns, St Andrews, Scotland

MICHAEL GIBBONS: Welcome back to the Dunhill Links. How are we feeling? Emotions? Anxiety attacks? Hangovers?

TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, separation anxiety is high right now.

MICHAEL GIBBONS: Have you spoken to him?

TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, I sent him a text last night just to say that I missed him, but we haven't spoke this morning yet, so it's a struggle.

It's nice to sort of get back to it. I had a night at home. Again, I haven't really sort of come out of the bubble of the team yet, of The Ryder Cup Team. So this will be back to reality.

It was nice to kind of hit balls again. Sort of spoke last night about just resetting with guys that I work with, but you know, overall, it's just nice to keep re-living that winning moment and such a special week in your career, which is definitely like the No. 1 experience I've ever had as a golfer.

So you're still sort of -- like it's nice to be reliving, but again, like I'm in such a buzz, that it would be nice to kick on and finish nice and strong.

Q. There was a certain video sort of gone viral on the Sunday, Monday. Can you tell us a little bit about that, how it all came about?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: No, it was real. We just got caught. (Laughter) I don't know how it happened but we got caught, and it's gone out but luckily we've had a good response from it. But me and Fran have been caught out a little bit there.

Q. It's been a really exhausting spell for you, but you must be ready for a big end of the season.
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, there's still plenty of golf to be played. There's still six or seven tournaments left on my schedule. There's still certain goals that I have. I'd love to win again by the end of the year in December. December will be our time off and we'll go away for Christmas and new year and really switch off for a while.

For now, it's keep working. You don't know how you're going to feel after The Ryder Cup. It's such a buildup to it and such an intense week, you don't quite know what happens after it or how you feel, and at the moment I feel okay and I feel like it would be nice.

I think this week is the perfect week to, it's either be at home and rest up, or I think it's the perfect week with it being the -- the format, I play with Ogden every year. I think it's the perfect kind of week to follow where it will be -- St Andrews is my favourite course, and you know, one of my favourite places to come. So having so many good things about the week; the Pro-Am format where it will be light-hearted but still tournament mode you're playing, I think it's the perfect week to follow.

I'm okay. I could honestly sleep for a week, I'm sure, but I feel all right physically at the moment.

Q. After such a whirlwind week, have you had a quiet moment to let it sink in, and on a personal level, what does it mean to be on that winning Ryder Cup Team?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, the last couple of days, I just kept finding, like either sat there with Clare or someone and just like looking at them, going, all right, how amazing was that week, how good was that.

I haven't really had a chance to watch much of it on TV. Like I'd love to watch it back, but it's nice to have that rerun. The ultimate goal that week was to win The Ryder Cup. We all wanted it so badly as a team, collectively, and we all played with so much heart and desire for each other, and to get it done and to get it done in style, as well, it is the best feeling you have.

It is the best feeling that you can have. All the guys said -- the experienced guys say it. It's nice that it's your first time because you've never experienced it before, but knowing all the experienced guys love it, and they say how you're going to feel after winning that Ryder Cup, and it's true, it's the best feeling you have as a golfer.

At some point, I might like to just sit down and watch it but generally it's been a quiet moment where you sit and smile and think about how amazing it was.

Q. Tell us about the bromance with Molinari. Did you expect that response?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: It's been great. We've seen some songs getting sung around the country, and back in Paris and Versailles. For us, we've been close friends for a long time. Me and Clare, and Fran and Valentina have always been very close. We wanted to play together in The Ryder Cup and got the chance and happened to play very, very well.

It was great for us to have that contribution for the team. We didn't lead by any means. We were just part of that whole environment and that whole team. I think from Friday morning when we were at our most nervous, to have that contribution which kind of sparked a bit of momentum I think was very important.

And then, yeah, the bromance sort of has come alive and it's been a big talking point. It great, really. I think our friendship should get noticed and it's nice to be appreciated in that way, but just to have our contribution to the team I think was the most important thing for us and very, very happy for Fran to get that winning shot, which he deserved, 5-out-of-5, making that bit of history for himself. Honestly he didn't care one bit whether he got zero points or five points as long as the team won, and that's just the way he is, really.

Q. Contrast to you and Fran, the American fallout; what does that tell you about the contrast in the harmony in the team rooms?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: It's interesting, really. It's really difficult. We have no idea what goes on or what's real and what's happening in that team room. I think at the end of the day, as a team we played so much better.

It's hard to know what goes on in their team room, but it seems they seem to be getting something wrong quite often, and who knows what that is or why that reason is.

Both sides -- I know you're talking about, like Patrick and Jordan, you can see both sides, really. You can see why it would be strange to split Patrick and Jordan up, but at the same time, Jordan and Thomas did so well, they only got beat Moliwood. So that was kind of justified in a way.

But you can absolutely see both sides of that story. At the end of the day, we as a team played a lot better and did a lot more things right. It's difficult to say we wanted it more. You get a sense that we maybe, you know, played with our hearts a little bit more and wanted it more, but whether that's true or not, who knows.

But yeah, difficult to see. It's a shame. If it is true and there is like, they are having a bit of trouble, it's a shame because they are a great bunch of lads, they really are, and as individual players, they are so good. They maybe just didn't get it right last week but we did.

Q. Brooks Koepka was in about an hour ago, and he gave an emotional talking about hitting the spectator that was struck with a ball. Should spectators be further away? What is your view?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: It can happen to anyone, and honestly, it actually -- it's surprising it happens less often than it does.

You know, Brooks shot wasn't that wide. I've seen the shot that it was. It's like ten yards left of the green. It's not that bad a shot, and it's really, really unlucky and you feel for -- yeah, obviously you feel for the lady that it happened to and you feel for Brooks, who it's a complete accident. You're only playing golf. It's not his fault by any means.

I sort of hate when my step kids come and watch, and it happens every time, I say to Mo, who is 10. I say: Stand anywhere but where the ball could land, anywhere. And I see on every hole he's stood exactly where driver is going to land. And I'm like, no, can you just not do it on the next hole; and he does it on the next hole. Because it can happen to anyone.

Just very, very unfortunate for both sides. I don't know what the answer is, really. People want to watch golf. Where they were stood is obviously in the prime spot for watching on the green. I don't know what you can do, really, unless you gave everybody a crash helmet before they go out on to the golf course. It's just one of them things, and golf, it's a little bit of a dangerous sport in that sense.

I hope she's -- I know she's not okay, but I hope she sort of gets a little bit better and will start feeling better.

Q. How can you go from this big emotion to tournament emotion, controlling yourself?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, like I said before, you don't quite know -- leading up to The Ryder Cup, you don't know how you're going to feel straight after it because it's such an intense week. It's such a -- every hole, every shot, you're playing like you are trying to win a tournament, so you've got a long week there, really, of intense golf shots.

At the moment, I feel okay, and last night, I was with my psychologist and we were kind of looking at trying to reset for the year. Enjoying in what happened and having, what I did, I have from what I did, a bunch of golf shots that's under the ultimate pressure that I hit or putts that I holed. So it's nice to have them to look back on or think of, when you have times of, am I nervous or am I struggling. It's nice to have them to look back on.

But having that experience and confidence from hitting those shots or holing those putts under the ultimate pressure, it's nice to take that, and then hopefully take that into the rest of the year, keep trying to improve. I've still got World Ranking points to earn, still got tournaments I can win. There's still a chance in The Race to Dubai. I'm a long way to behind, but we know that Justin did it last year, and ultimately, probably it was in his hands on the back nine.

There's still things that are there that I'd like to do and like to achieve, and improving your golf game. So there's still plenty of things to reset and look forward to and take that amazing experience and try and build on it.

Q. Thomas talked to us Monday about Moliwood, and he said how you responded, the way you did and handled it -- you were probably nervous on the first day, in particular. Did that feel the case to you?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Well, I was nervous -- I was nervous on the first tee, and definitely towards the end of that round, I was nervous coming to the end because our match actually ended up being a really big match.

But I have a good handle on things. I think I generally have a good mentality. I'm not saying I have a calmness about me, but I have a good respect about things, and I felt like I had the ability and the confidence to get through that.

I was a rookie. I was playing with one of my best friends, Fran, who is -- Fran definitely doesn't make you nervous when he's next to you, and he led me very well, so I was lucky to have that. But in general, I'd say the last two or three years of my career, and my life, what I've done, I think has helped me towards big moments like that.

Again, stood on that first tee, with the crowd all behind you, I would rather be doing that than teeing off at Wentworth when I didn't want to be there when I thought I was going to top it off the tee; the difference in those two feelings is massive and I kind of have that perspective to sort of push me forward and help me in those moments.

But Fran did play a massive part in how I was on that golf course and he deserves a lot of credit for being the sort of mature one or the experienced one, and taking me around that golf course for the first day.

MICHAEL GIBBONS: Thank you, as always.

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