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January 16, 2019

Tommy Fleetwood

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Q. Day one of the new year and day one of the title defence?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: It was okay. I found it difficult just being back playing tournaments again, so it was a little bit tricky. I didn't swing it great. I found it hard to hit fairways for the most part, and then when I did start finding fairways, started doing a little bit better. But it's a tough golf course. The setup this year is tougher than it has been. I know the scoring is good today, but the weather is perfect, so if you hit it well, you can always score. But definitely if you're not quite in position, it makes it difficult. But overall, it was like a decent, steady sort of round.

Q. That's the key word, isn't it, steady, and that's ultimately what you're looking for on this stage?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, yeah. Clearly when the weather is perfect and you get your morning round, you want to shoot the best score you can, but also if it's not on, you've just got to keep going, do the best you can, and I'll take 3-under around there all day. It's not easy. And be steady. I did plenty of decent things. I didn't hit it as well as I'd like to, but still did plenty of good stuff. Felt like I stayed pretty patient. And yeah, it's round 1.

Q. How was it taking the new clubs into a competitive environment for the first time?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: I liked it. You know, the ball goes nowhere in the mornings here, and it's hard to judge that because you think it's sunny and you think it's going to be nice, but the air seems to be so heavy. But in general they're doing what I would expect them to do, and so far, so good. I had like a long period where I didn't many iron shots. You kind of depend on your wedges for some reason around here or going for par-5s, but they felt good.

Q. Is it in any way disorientating when you've been kind of so loyal to the previous equipment?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, a little bit now and again. They're very, very similar to mine. You know, I wouldn't be trying it if I wasn't sort of very close to being sure that I know what I'm doing. They're slightly different, but when you're out there, you just play -- you've picked what you're doing, so that's it. If I wanted to do something else, I'd have done it, and then go and play and trust your own game.

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