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May 11, 2019

Tommy Fleetwood

Hillside, Southport, England

Q. Hosting the tournament, brilliant sunshine, incredible crowds. Your thoughts?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, they are the best. I've been a bit slow, really, for the last -- I was slow for 2 1/2 days pretty much. That front nine didn't do much as I started and good to get something going on the back. A little goal was to give them something to cheer about 11 and 12 got that going a little bit. I hit a poor putt on 9 and 10 a little bit of a silly three-putt. Didn't feel like I did too much wrong on either of them and then yeah, the finish was great.

Q. Let's look at the highlights, showing you the second shot on the 11th. Set up for eagle.
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: It was set up pretty well. It was hard to judge the wind today. It was always, it could be into, it could be down. It was always on the edge of either.

11, that was a really important hole after the two bogeys. Didn't really want the round to get too mellow or too quiet, so that was a big hole and set me back on track.

Q. Gave you the momentum to go on and birdie the next hole. Second shot --
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: I see the putt. The putt was nice on the second shot. Good angle.

I did well to keep it on that top tier. I actually thought, when I saw the pin this morning, I thought they might put the tee forward and tempted to go for it, but still like a really nice hole, put it on the right tier and rolled another one. Things are going well at this point.

Q. Matt Wallace on the top of the leaderboard at the moment, all the crowd's energy to feed off. Give us your thoughts.
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: For the most part, the leaders have been way, way in front of me, so it's not really something -- it's very easy to switch off when it's like that. We'll see how today finishes. Each day, I finished the last two days five back. I would probably say it would be another five back.

But we'll see. You know, regardless of what happens tomorrow, it's nice I've put myself up there again. I'll be out late tomorrow, and it's really important to me that I can do that. We'll see what tomorrow brings. I'm not really going to worry too much about what the others are doing. Put in a really solid performance so far, and if I can continue the momentum from the back nine today, that would be great.

Q. You had some harmony on the greens?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Just holed a couple of nice ones at 11 and 12. I think I'm happy with the way I stayed committed, stayed sort of seeing the putts go in, really, which is a hard thing to do when you haven't seen anything go in for three days nearly, and then you miss a couple short ones. It's easy to just lose concentration or lose focus or confidence.

So the back nine, that was probably the best part of it, really. Just staying committed and being strong enough to just keep hitting putts. It's nice that a couple went?

Q. How has the week went so far?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, it's been the best. Those last few holes, it's great playing in front of all day, but 16 and 17 and 18, I actually have never realised that they were like natural amphitheatres, 16 and 17, and the stands on 18. Those holes, in particular are just great. You know, playing in front of your home fans, and especially when this many turn out, and it's been great conditions on a great course.

I said I was a little bit nervous on Tuesday how the event would go, and they have just exceeded expectations in every way.

Q. Tomorrow is going to be a special Sunday.
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: It's been brilliant, hasn't it. I'm just very -- already I know I've got another day to play but already I'm just very, very grateful to everybody that's been involved in the event and made this a great spectacle. It's been fantastic and I've got a another day of golf left and I'll focus on it a bit tomorrow, and it has been a very special week.

Q. Matt can often be stubborn when he's in the lead, as we well know. Tomorrow, more wind?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: A low one and see what he does. The leaders have been that far in front of me for most of the week, so it's easy to switch off and do your own thing. I'll continue to do that and see what happens. You know, I'd love to just put in another nice performance, give the crowd something to cheer about and we'll see after that, but it's been great playing in front of everybody.

Q. One of those, get it right on the back nine after the wobble at the turn?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, finally made a birdie at 8. I was playing well. Playing some nice stuff. Just 9 and 10 were a little bit disappointing. Like 9, I hit a poor wedge and it was still -- out of the bunker, that was really the worst putt I hit all day, pulled from four or five feet and then, a silly three-putt. You don't need to leave yourself too much to do on some of these greens where they have slope and wind. I didn't feel like I did anything wrong on either of the putts but just a little bit silly and after that, I think 11 and 12 were the two most important holes of the day. Great to give them something to cheer about on the back.

Q. Seemed like you were feeding off the energy of the crowd because they have been terrific all week and you wanted to give something back?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, I definitely think towards the end, they were great, and especially when I started to get something going. I think after 11 and 12, because it was easy to get a little bit mellow but these guys wouldn't let me do that, and then definitely when we could see something was happening, like 14, another birdie, and then I think everybody just started -- it was a lot more positive and it was easy to get on the back of the crowd when they are always in your favour, so they have been great.

Q. Has it been easy to keep your energy levels because of the fact that you are the host and there are distractions?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, I've not had great energy levels. Frankie had tonsillitis last week and he's given me something, so that's not been ideal. It's one of them things, just another challenge. Something people don't really know about.

But I've really enjoyed it, and the Tour, they make everything so easy for you. They do these events week-in, week-out, and you can have as much involvement as you want. They make it so easy for me as a host to do what I've need to do and it's been great.

Q. Tonsillitis aside, do you think you are still in the tournament, with Matt Wallace setting quite a target?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, nice to be on the right end of the leaderboard. See where he finishes. I'd have taken that with eight holes to play for sure, but we are in a good spot. Whatever happens at the end of today, I'm going to be going out late on the back end in Sunday and the crowd comes to watch that, which is great.

Q. I was going to ask you something different by saying you're not the only Fleetwood who is going to go quietly, but tonsillitis would be more interesting. Did you not have them out as a kid?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: No, I've not got tonsillitis. I've just got a virus. So it's not bacterial or anything, but I've just had a virus for the last two or three days. Once the adrenaline kind of quiets down, like it gets worse, you know, just as you kind of switch off in the car.

I had got my Paracetamol in the back, I asked Clare to get me some on the 13th tee and that pretty much saved me on the way in, so that was helpful.

Q. The host of the event has not had a particularly good record. Is that down to the other stuff that's going on, do you think?
TOMMY FLEETWOOD: For sure we're not used to, I felt so much more comfortable on Thursday when it got to playing golf, just because, you know, we don't do hosting stuff week-in, week-out, and it's very, very different.

I know I've been really, really fortunate that we've got the event where I'm from and everybody from day one has made me feel really at ease with something that I'm not comfortable with but just not used to in a sense. So I think that's definitely worked in my favour and I think that's probably it. We're just not -- we don't do this every week, so it's just a little bit different.

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