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February 5, 2019

Tommy Fleetwood

Pebble Beach, California

JOHN BUSH: We would like to welcome Tommy Fleetwood to the interview room here at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Making his first start here. His first visit ever to Pebble Beach. Welcome. If we can get some thoughts on being here.

TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, it's cool. I was really happy to like put it into the schedule this year. And like there are so many new and different events for me, just being my own, it's only my second full year on the PGA TOUR. But as soon as we got here yesterday, played a few holes around Spyglass, and then today played 18 around Pebble, and it puts a smile on your face for some reason. I've been playing in hail stones and I'm still smiling. It's just one of those few places in the world that has like an aura and an atmosphere about it and feel like really, feel very lucky to be playing golf this week of the.

JOHN BUSH: Before questions, just the state of your game coming into the week.

TOMMY FLEETWOOD: It feels good, yeah, it's getting better. Sort of started up a little bit slow in January. Didn't play quite how I would have liked, but things are definitely going in a very good direction and feel like I'm hitting the ball well and it's just a case of getting going again, really. Getting playing again and getting into that rhythm of golf and tournament golf again, so but all in all feel pretty good.

JOHN BUSH: Open it up to questions.

Q. Wondering, since it is your first visit here, what have you heard about this place in terms of, did it kind of meet your expectations? Were you surprised about anything out there today as you were walking around the course? Anything kind of specific catch your attention?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: I would say most people have been, talk about it, and it's, over the world there's a few places that you, if you're into golf or you're a golfer that you have to visit or that you have to play. And you always know that this area is one of them. And you kind of, I mean I would, it's very, for me it's very, very similar to St. Andrews. And it's not necessarily the golf courses, because the views are amazing and you're in this, just this patch where it's so beautiful and you can't help but smile when you play. But I would say that the feeling that you have over this, I don't know what the radius is of all the golf courses, but the feeling that it gives you. It's just really, really cool, really, really nice. For me it's very similar to St. Andrews in that kind of historic and you know you're walking on sort of, I don't want to say sacred, but you're walking on very special land when you're playing.

Q. What did you think of 7?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: I missed the green today, I hit a terrible shot, but it's a great hole. We did have to wait for 10 minutes because it was a hail storm at that point so I'll blame that a little bit.

Q. Are you doing any recon for the U.S. Open and if so how much recon are you doing?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Well, yeah, I mean it's, you're definitely going to, you're definitely out there and you look at -- you're playing for two pin positions this week really in preparation at Pebble Beach, but you know that there's a U.S. Open going on in a few months time, so you have a look. It's playing so wet and soft that you can only, you can picture stuff and you have a look and you can try certain little shots out, but it's nowhere near what it's probably going to be like. But still, to have, it's a massive game to come here. And there's so many guys that played the PGA TOUR for a long time will have been here. And that they know it, they feel comfortable, they have been here a lot. For me this is first time, so any like gain or advantage that I would have had just turning up in June or whenever the U.S. Open is, is much more positive and good for me.

Q. What kind of weather did you actually get all day long here?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: It wasn't that bad actually. It was on and off like scattered this morning and like I say we had 10 minutes of hail stones, but after that it was okay. A little bit dull and cold and then the sun came out and it was lovely. So we had the sun for say the last two or three holes. It was, but it was absolutely fine. It's just the ball's going nowhere. Everything is playing so long at the moment. There's no room, it's cold, it's windy, so everything feels like it's playing a long way at the moment.

Q. If it stays like this all week long, how much of a challenge will those conditions be?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Massively. I think just the distance and the how hard the wind hits it because of the temperatures and you're at sea level so the wind hits it really hard. It's heavy, the air's heavy. And then the greens, the greens seem on both courses I played so far very back to front, got a lot of slope in them and you've actually got to control the spin in there because the course is playing that soft, so that becomes very difficult. The one thing around here it seems is that you want to keep it below the hole. But you're taking spin off a lot so that combination makes it a little bit tricky, but it's clearly more challenging with the weather like it is. But that's also a good thing. It's not supposed to be easy, is it?

Q. When you talk about cold and damp and the ball going nowhere, etcetera, what would be maybe your top two or three events like this worldwide that you play in terms of this kind of cold weather? I would think Dunhill would be on that list?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Dunhill can get like that, yeah. That can get very cold. The Open Championship, you have seen over the years, that's hit and miss. We can get a beautiful summer or we can get a really rough patch. Basically any event in the U.K. can get like that. But we can also have the beautiful times too. So, yeah, it's kind of similar in a way to U.K. golf when you get those bad conditions. But I don't really know what the forecast is for the week. Is it getting better?

Q. Doesn't matter. They're never right.
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: No. They're more right than ours, probably.

Q. On the Dunhill comparison, you've played that a number of years, does it take a certain type of mindset, and should it, when you're playing with the people you play with?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: I think so. There's people that don't like the pace of play or the rhythm or having a partner. It's sort of an extra person to be with when you're on the golf course. I've always enjoyed it and, yeah, I've never really had a problem. I've actually enjoyed the pace being out there a long time, being with someone. It's a little bit more -- it's a different atmosphere because you're still doing everything that you do every week and there's a tournament going on. If you want a bit of a more relaxed vibe, you can have that. And, again, you don't have to talk to anyone, you can completely shut off if you want. But I've always enjoyed kind of having a few people out on the golf course with you and talking away and just using that kind of amateur partner. Especially if you know them and you're friends or it's a nice guy, that you can use that to your advantage, really, it takes your mind off what you're doing for a bit.

Q. Ho Sung Choi is coming in here soon. Obviously his swing's getting a lot of attention. What do you make of it?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Well I actually think it's a good swing. But just watching his swing without, to about three quarters of the way through it's like, it's a good move and that's the important bit. Whatever he does after that is kind of you know, it's his quirkiness, it's his thing. It's kind of, it's irrelevant. The ball's been hit. So we just look at what happens before that and it seems functional and like a really strong swing. But it's good to have your own thing. Everybody has their own move and their own swing and his is a good one.

Q. I realize you don't have a lot of details but you're probably aware of Sergio's incident over in Saudi this week. When you have something like that and there's, I can't think of a precedent, to be honest with you, but does punishment, do you think required from a TOUR or is that something that your peers will take care of? Does that make any sense?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: It does, yeah. I wasn't there, and I think it's -- between whoever it's affected, between the TOUR and between Sergio himself, I think they're the only people that can have a say and deal with it from there. Like for whatever reason, none of us actually quite know what happened or what it looked like. Obviously it wasn't a great idea at the time and I'm sure he's not feeling great about it. But still the group of people that it affected and himself and the TOUR, whatever they sort of come up with, I think that's it. And then it's done. They can move on. Whatever happens, happens and that's it, really.

Q. Is it possible to share with us some of your changes goals for 2019?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, there's always, I mean right now it's kind of the same as last year. I didn't get it done. I want to win on the PGA TOUR. That's the next thing for me to do. It's the next obvious step for me in my career. And then other than that, there's you're long-term goals that you're always looking at and to do that there's certain things in your game that you have to improve, so there's kind of like little process ones in there. I'm trying to improve 50 to 150 yards, trying to improve like from a strokes gained perspective or a numbers perspective, trying to improve that. And I have certain targets to reach part of your game, which kind of goes into a little bit more deeper detail. But for sure next sort of outcome big results goal would be to win on the PGA TOUR. So hopefully I can do that at some point.

Q. Just to follow up on Doug's question about Sergio. If you were a player that did such a bonehead move, and was actually disciplined in regards to being disqualified, which is a first time it's ever happened on the European Tour, how long do you think it would take for your fellow players to get over what you did?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, it's a tough one. I can speak for myself, personally, and I know Sergio very, very well. Very close with him. Whatever he's done in the spur of the moment he will clearly regret. And of course it's not good when it's affected other players. And I mean I'm over it. Like it didn't affect me at all, but it's not great and it's not coming across in a great light and I know there's a lot of bad press about it. And I know for sure he will feel terrible about it. Those guys, I don't know. And I don't even know who it was that was behind him or got affected, so it probably depend on their kind of character. And I mean nobody, anybody that's in that event probably it doesn't affect the same, because we weren't there and we were miles away from the situation. And for myself personally, it's literally not been a part of my life at all, so it's nothing for me, but I know that it will, it's not good for other people when they're playing in a tournament.

Q. From a preparation standpoint, is it difficult staring down three courses compared to one?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, one's enough. So, yeah, it's tricky. It's kind of a long week and the only other event that's similar is the Dunhill for us back in the European Tour, and I've played that for a long, long time, so I can, I mean for that, the courses never change, and I can turn up on Thursday for that if I want to knowing it so well. This is very different and you kind of have to, you are not going to play 18 holes each day, so you, it's really quite a different sort of process to it. I played nine holes yesterday and walked nine. I played 18 today. And I'll probably play nine again tomorrow. But it's a lot of work for you and the caddie, really, that, are doing all that prep and it's kind of strange because you only play one round at two of the courses. So it's weird that you go to all that, all those lengths for that. But it's still great. I mean if nothing else, they're amazing courses to play, so just enjoy that part of it.

Q. What else new in America do you have planned this year? And when you look back at last year, what was your most pleasant surprise of courses?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Good question. This year, so I'll be playing Valspar for the first time, RBC Heritage for the first time. I think I will be playing at Colonial. There's a few new events. Last year what was the most pleasant surprise? Not necessarily courses. I was, and not necessarily a surprise either, but I loved the atmosphere on the PGA TOUR and I loved meeting all the new people. I've been a pro for seven years, eight years, and last year was really the first time I had spent like at decent amount of time and met a lot of new people, met a lot of great people and I really enjoyed that. It was like being on a new TOUR again. And when you originally turn pro, you're, you meet new people and that was what I kind of felt like for me. I mean probably not, but it's me that's, that I need to worry about, and I was happy with meeting people so that was fine.

Q. I'm curious, seriously, what March looks like for you? It's said to be probably the busiest month when you throw in a couple of WGC's and THE PLAYERS and everything else. How have you sorted that out?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: It's just busy. That's just the way it is. Honda is the one that I'll miss out, unfortunately, because I loved that last year. But at some point you have to sort of take a rest, and then PLAYERS, and that's the only one really that I'll miss and I'm kind of disappointed about it. And then play four in a row and a week off before the Masters because I kind of like having a week off before the Majors.

Q. Bay Hill, PLAYERS, Tampa?

JOHN BUSH: We appreciate your time, Tommy, best of luck this week.

TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Thank you very much.

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