09 August 2017
England’s Next Hope?
After finishing in tied fourth position at the 117th US Open in June, Tommy Fleetwood shot onto the radar of golf fans around the world. Two weeks later Fleetwood won the French Open, the second Rolex Series title of the season.
It’s been a big change in fortune for Fleetwood. From May 2016, struggling to maintain a consistent performance, he missed the cut five times out of seven appearances. Not surprisingly, his world ranking fell to 188th by September from 108th in May. But, in January this year, things began to look up. The 26-year-old former No. 1 amateur has won two titles, the Abu Dhabi Championship and the Open de France.
Fleetwood posted a string of high finishes, including runner-up behind World No. 1 Dustin Johnson at the WGC-Mexico Championship, another second position finish in China’s Shenzhen International, fourth place in June’s US Open, and then his win at the HNA French Open. The good performances come after Fleetwood returned to his boyhood swing coach, Alan Thompson.
“I had a really rough time – I was really struggling,” said Fleetwood, as quoted by The Telegraph. “I tried changing my swing because I thought it would make me a world-class golfer. I was a bit naive, a bit silly. I went back to my old coach, Alan Thompson, who’s coached me since I was 13 and have been on an upward trend from August really. The next step up was this win.”
Fleetwood holds a number of notable amateur performances, including finishing runner-up at the 2008 Amateur Championship and playing in the 2009 Walker Cup. After turning professional in 2010, he became the youngest player to win the Challenge Tour Rankings in 2011 at age 20 and 290 days. Now, it seems that one of England’s most promising talents is back.
Fleetwood, reached a career high of 14 in the world rankings ahead of the British Open, making him the second highest ranking English player after Justin Rose. He is also top of the Race to Dubai above Masters champion Sergio Garcia who is in second. Fleetwood described the possibility of ending the year as European No. 1 by winning the Race to Dubai as “an ultimate dream.”
"To win a Rolex Series event, knowing how big the stature is of everything now is a big deal for me. I played great today, felt comfy again and it's always great to test your game and test what you work on every day under the ultimate pressure,” said Fleetwood after winning the French Open, as quoted by The Express.