European Challenge Tour Number One Tommy Fleetwood is planning to continue his recent wave of success at this week’s Roma Golf Open after an unbelievable past month saw him win the Challenge Tour’s biggest prize before mixing it with the world’s very best in the Home of Golf.
After taking control of the Challenge Tour Rankings following his brilliant victory in the Kazakhstan Open, Fleetwood was given a taste of life at the top level in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship where he drank copiously from one of The European Tour’s most lucrative wells by finishing in a tie for fifth place at St Andrews and winning a cheque for €126,000 – more than double his first place prize in Kazakhstan.
That superb performance, where Fleetwood finished ahead of World Number One Luke Donald and his final round playing partner Padraig Harrington, has given the 20 year old a massive injection of confidence as he heads into the final two Challenge Tour events of the season looking to cement is position as the Challenge Tour Number One.
“I still want to win the Challenge Tour so there is a bit of pressure on me but it is the nice kind of pressure where I have secured my card for next year and I am chasing a really nice prize,” smiled Fleetwood.
“There are a lot of guys in worse positions than me at the moment so I can’t have any complaints about where I am. I think the victory in Kazakhstan was so important and it had the snowball effect in terms of my confidence and really helped me got to the Dunhill Links and perform well.
“The main thing that has changed recently is my putting has really improved. Obviously the results improve as a result of that and the confidence grows and grows – I am really enjoying it at the moment and I want to continue that for as long as possible.
“I think the performance in the Dunhill Links will be massive for me going into next season. To outscore guys like Luke and Padraig – and to play with Padraig during the final round – was an amazing experience and I will take so much from that going forward.”
Fleetwood’s immediate task, however, is to resist the challenges of compatriot Sam Little and the rest of the chasing pack from the Challenge Tour Rankings over the course of the final two events of the season, starting at the Olgiata Golf Club this week.
While he vies to win the Rankings outright, the Roma Golf Open represents the last chance for those Challenge Tour players outside the top 45 to join that all-important number who will contest the Apulia San Domenico Grand Final in a fortnight. It is there that the top 20 players in the final Rankings will be rewarded with a place on The 2012 European Tour.