Tommy Fleetwood: Listening to Liverpool loss eased Scottish Open play-off pain

Tommy Fleetwood has Aston Villa to thank for quickly getting over the disappointment of his play-off defeat in the ASI Scottish Open.

Wednesday, 7th October 2020, 5:24 pm
Ross Barkley, Jack Grealish and John McGinn celebrate during Aston Villa's remarkable 7-2 win over Liverpool.
Ross Barkley, Jack Grealish and John McGinn celebrate during Aston Villa's remarkable 7-2 win over Liverpool.

Fleetwood birdied the last hole of regulation to match Aaron Rai’s total of 11 under par at the Renaissance Club, but then missed from three feet for par on the first extra hole after Rai had holed from a similar distance.

The Ryder Cup star said he planned to “sulk for a few hours” on the drive home on Sunday night but, as an Everton fan, was instantly cheered up by radio commentary of Liverpool’s shock 7-2 thrashing at Villa Park.

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“Aston Villa put an end to the sulking quite rapidly,” Fleetwood joked ahead of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

Tommy Fleetwood congratulates Aaron Rai after the latter's play-off win at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open.

“Finno (his caddie, Ian Finnis), was driving and I was in the passenger seat trying to get it up on SkyGo and it was unbelievable, really.

“At the end of the day, there’s certain things that happen and, while I did think about it for a couple of minutes, I thought I did everything right, really.

“I missed one particular putt. I hit a bad putt, but I didn’t feel like I let myself down in any other way other than hitting that one putt and that was it. I hit a great putt to get into the play-off.

“Justin Rose’s caddie said a nice thing on Monday night, he said, ‘You’ve got to be there to f*** it up’, so I thought that was a good way of putting it. I quite liked that and it was absolutely fine. And Aston Villa made the day better.”

Being at Wentworth will also help Fleetwood put Sunday’s near-miss into perspective as it was at European Tour headquarters that he endured one of the lowest points of his career in 2016.

Fleetwood effectively had the ‘yips’ off the tee, barely finished a hole in the pre-tournament pro-am and seriously contemplated pulling out of the event.

“I was in a pretty dark place,” added the world number 14, who made the cut but shot rounds of 81 and 76 over the weekend.

“Finno had come to watch, he wasn’t caddying at the time, and he was the one I said to that I might not play. He didn’t understand because he hadn’t seen me for a bit.

“If I do happen to play poorly or not have the week I want, it’s a nice reminder to think how far I’ve come along since then.”

Finishing second in East Lothian did at least lift Fleetwood to third in the Race to Dubai and the 2017 champion would love to become a multiple winner of the season-long money list.

“I’ve been first, third and second the last three years and I want to keep that spell going,” Fleetwood added. “It’s something that I’m proud of, the consistency of being that high up and I’ve played well in the right tournaments for the last few years now.

“There’s some amazing names that have won it once and there’s some amazing names that won it multiple times. So I’d love to be one of them.”

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