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March 14, 2019

Tommy Fleetwood

Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

Q. What was the key to that?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: I played really well. Like I say, that front nine, I hit a lot of solid shots, and I did like a couple of frustrating things where I hadn't really picked any shots so well that I felt I should have done. But then stayed patient, and the wind picked up and the course got tough. There were some tough holes there, but I kind of drove it so well that I was always in a good position. The course feels different then. Like if you're in the fairway all the time, the course feels very, very different, and it's a massive key around here, and then I just started picking a few shots up, and then you get on a run like 7, 8, 9, and it feels great after that. Just one of them would feel like a great round, so three of them is -- I'll take it.

I love the course. If you like golf, you should like this golf course really. It's just about as fair as you're going to get a test. If you hit it well like I did today, you're going to have chances and you can shoot a score, and people are shooting scores. But you can also get it the other way, as soon as you start struggling and start going the other way, it can easily go against you, and I think -- I do, I think it's an amazing golf course for that, not because I've played well today, but as a test of golf and for somewhere to play, I think it's great.

Q. Last year was your first time?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Second year, so I've played here twice. The year before I made the cut and so I finished midway, I think. Last year I played really well, as well, and enjoyed it. I remember playing with -- I was with Rosey and Poulter for the first two days and then Rose second and third day and Poulter fourth day, so that was a very friendly week that one.

Q. What do you learn from a round like last Saturday?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Well, the thing is, we looked back at it, and it was very tough that day. We had the hardest part of the golf course, and I would have taken probably three or four shots back and tried to hit them again, and all in all I added up to 4-over and it looks like a really bad round and it looks like I struggled, and it got that difficult. The double on 10 was really bad. That was a chip shot. That's a shot gone.

I flagged a 6-iron that puffs up into the wind and it was playing that hard, things just go to the wrong side. Then there's holes like 12 and 16 where you think you're going to pick up a shot, missed the fairway on 12 and I couldn't get within 40 feet after three, the way the pin was. And it was just one of those rounds where me and Keegan were both struggling and it just got the wrong side of things. But I kept trying. Birdied the last and then came back the next day and I could have easily -- I was a couple putts shy of Frankie. It's difficult putting four rounds of golf together. It's a long time. And recently I just haven't done it as often as I would like. But last week I felt very comfortable and confident. It was nice to be up there again. It just didn't happen for me.

Q. So many people say that it's a matter of time before you win in the States. Is that something you want to embrace?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Well, there's pros and cons. It's the expectations that are a tricky thing really because it can always lead to different sides. But I love it out here. I love playing out here. Since I've played out here more regularly, it's improved my game because I feel like there's different tests and it tests different sides of your game. Yeah, it's clearly the next step for me to win over here, but winning is not easy, and I've just got to keep plugging away, keep doing the right things and focus on myself. Hopefully that will come, but there's no point in sort of not thinking about it or letting people do the talking. Clearly that's sort of what the next thing that's going to happen, and everybody's career goes in those stages, and hopefully mine will be the same.

Q. After a slow start to the season, this must be quite exciting.
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, good time to be coming into form. Like I say, it's been different this year because I'm used to starting so fast in the last couple of years, so this working my way into it and starting to play better now is just different. But I feel like I've been doing a lot of good things, and that happens sometimes when you feel like you do so many good things, but there's so many things that go into it, and sometimes you just need a rhythm of shooting scores, and the one thing I've been lacking before -- well, before Mexico really because I had a good second round, was actually shooting some low scores and like getting a bit of confidence and shooting good numbers. That seems like it's come in. I just try and keep that going.

Q. What are you looking forward to going into the rest of the week?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: I feel good right now. If I was going to pick a start, that would be it. Yeah, round 1 out of the way. You can only play yourself out of it in round 1. I've done a good job keeping myself in it, and it's a great spot to move on from here, so it will be nice to have a bit of a rest now. Course can change so much from the morning to the next day in the afternoon, but looking forward to playing really.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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