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May 9, 2019

Tommy Fleetwood

Hillside, Southport, England

Q. A big week for you, a special week. You won your first tournament four miles down the road and you're hosting this week. How has the first day been for you?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: It was great. It was nice to get down to the golf, and I enjoyed playing. I felt like I played really well. I felt in control most of the day. So it was good and I enjoyed it. A lot of guys, a lot of people come out today in that weather that's pretty cold and wet. I know they are going to do that but still nice to see them and play.

Q. You mentioned you oddly were feeling a few nerves on Tuesday. How was today?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Today was fine. I think I felt much more comfortable playing golf than doing some of the hosting roles. I was a little bit nervous, but I think doing this at home, you know, and having that and having so many people I know, I think everybody's just made me feel at ease completely with whatever I've had to do off the course, and like I say, getting down to play, I do this all the time so I felt much more at ease doing this but I've really enjoyed it.

Q. You mentioned it's not the best golfing weather, but you gave the fans something to look an the shot over the trees on the first.
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: I would have liked not to have been there, but that was a great par save, actually, a nice momentum boost and eagle on the next. I mean, I've gained two or three shots there in two holes, which is lovely. That's what you want to do. Yeah, so that was the first time all day I've been out of portion, sort of the one poor shot I hit and was feeling confident.

Hit my irons nicely. Feel like I had a good rhythm all day. It was cold at times. It was actually just nice to play. It was nice, so much going on this week, which I really enjoyed and it's nice to get the chance to play in the competition and see how the course plays. I did a lot of really good stuff, you know, a couple more putts maybe, and feel great. But overall, if I did need to get up-and-down, I did, and 4-under's good.

Q. You admitted that you're feeling a little bit of extra pressure, a bit of extra nerves because of the scenario. How was it out on the course?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: I felt comfortable today actually. I think it was more, I think just certain things in what you do every week, and you have your name and you want the tournament to go well, so I think getting out on the golf course, I was fine. I felt like I was under control. I felt pretty good. I really enjoyed playing today. I had a really good three-ball. Those two guys would be high up on the list of people I choose to play with, so that was good.

Q. The British Masters was your first tournament on The European Tour 11 years ago, and now driving around town seeing your face on the side of a bus, is it almost surreal?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, we've not been around a lot, so I don't think we've had a true experience of what it's been like in the town. I think my mom and dad have had it more than me, and it's great for them. I'm sure they are very, very proud. They don't tell me that often, but I'm sure they are proud. We've been away a lot, so we haven't had the full experience of it, but it is amazing, and I've got a lot of history here and where I'm from and where I started the game.

From that point, playing in the British Masters to here, it's been a good change so far.

Q. I would imagine that you're pretty satisfied with that as a nice opener to an event that you're hosting.
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, it was a nice day. I just said before, I felt comfortable this morning getting out on the golf course, and it was down to playing golf. I enjoyed that side of it. Overall, I played lovely. And it could have been a couple better. Could have -- as always, and it could always be a couple worse, so you just take it. I think I had a really nice putt on the last, actually. That was nice because that would have hurt. Overall, I think never mind the score, I think overall my game felt in a really good place.

Q. How satisfying is that given the nature of the week for you?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: It's great. I'm enjoying the new experiences. I was definitely more comfortable today playing golf than doing a couple of the hosting roles and having a little bit of responsibility to the tournament.

But I'm really, really enjoying my time, and this was day one, and I think it was a lovely atmosphere out there, and the weather wasn't great, and so far, everybody said a lot of good things about the tournament and about the course. All those things just add up and I'm really, really proud of that.

Q. You must be -- your face is across buss and everything. There is a big buzz around the tournament, but around you, as well, which must be very gratifying?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, it's lovely, isn't it. It's nice to come out and play in front of -- when you're not around a lot, sometimes it's easy to, you know, not realise or forget that you've kind of been doing some good stuff and that you're a little bit more famous than what you used to be.

So it's nice to come back and actually get that recognition and realise that I've not done too much wrong and a few people still like me.

Q. You've got two separate roles here and one is obviously as an ambassador, but the other is as a cold-eyed competitor, so separating those roles; there any kind of conflict there, inner conflict, or not?.
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: I really enjoyed playing and like I said, I felt more comfortable on the golf course doing something I do week-in and week-out. It's not that I've been uncomfortable doing different things, but just a different experience and doing something you're not used to and that gave me a little bit more nerves than normal, and just a little bit more pride in the event and hope it goes well.

I think now the golf's started, I really enjoyed today. It's nice to play again and I felt, like I said, I felt like I played really well. Felt like I had a good rhythm in my swing and I was hitting a lot of good shots.

Q. Must be good to see Matthew Jordan doing well?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, I've known him for a long time. We all know what he's capable of, from the area. I think today, he's lighting it up and having a very good round. We'll see how he finishes. Whatever he does, that's a tremendous first round and I think it will be good for him now. I've seen some of his scores and he's not played as well as I know he wants to this year, but when you're first turning pro, it's different, and now the experience being at the top of the leaderboard for a few days will be really, really good.

Q. Did you have a hand in that?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: No, I didn't really want to have any sort of like participation in the player field. I would say that's the one thing I felt really uncomfortable with was I didn't want to try to ask anybody to play, and of course you're going to get a lot of, you know, people are going to ask for invites quite a lot and I think originally, we just said we'd love to give back to the Tour, and the Tour, they do this week-in and week-out, and they make it fair, and I think the right people got the invites.

Q. The crowds today, early start, not the greatest weather?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, they were great, and we knew it was going to be like this. I'm sure it's going to grow Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I hope I'm up there to give them something to watch, really, over the weekend. I've already like expressed how grateful I am to everybody in advance, really, for making it a great event because I'm so sure that it will be that way and it was nice. It was nice to see so many people come out, the true, true, golf fans really. It wasn't as bad as Birkdale, but it wasn't nice at times today.

Q. How good was the par save on 1?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: It was good. Just hit one wide shot really, and it is pretty wide. I still think with the wind the way it was, I still like driver off the tee. It takes every bunker out of play, and you're one good shot away from having a pitch, and it was disappointing tee shot, but massive, massive momentum to save par. You can make bogey or double from there and then you're back and you get going and you eagle the next. Those two holes were a big boost, really.

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