Thursday, 09 May 2019
Tommy Fleetwood - It was nice to get down to the golf

Tommy Fleetwood was delighted to get back to what he does best with an opening 68 at the Betfred British Masters.

The Englishman is the fifth player to play host to the event, bringing it to his native Southport and the wonderful Hillside Golf Club.

Being host brings with it a unique set of responsibilities and while Fleetwood is enjoying the experience, the 2017 Race to Dubai champion will always be happiest inside the ropes.

And he showed no signs of distraction on day one, making an eagle, three birdies and a bogey to get to four under in cold and wet conditions.

"It was great," he said. "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 people come out today in that weather that's pretty cold and wet. I know they are going to do that but it was still nice to see them and play.

"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. I think it was a lovely atmosphere out there. 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."

After birdies on the second and 17th - thanks to an exquisite pitch - Fleetwood made a stunning par at the first, putting his third shot to four feet after taking a drop from the base of a tree.

He rolled in a 25 footer for eagle on the next and while he dropped a shot on the sixth, he picked it straight back up with an excellent tee shot into the par three seventh.

"That was a great par save," he said of his heroics on the first. "A nice momentum boost and eagle on the next. I've gained two or three shots there in two holes, which is lovely. That's what you want to do.

"I hit my irons nicely, feel like I had a good rhythm all day. I did a lot of really good stuff."

Tournament invite and local favourite Matthew Jordan broke the course record with a 63 in the morning and Fleetwood was delighted to see his countryman star in just his ninth European Tour appearance.

"I've known him for a long time," he said. "We all know what he's capable of from the area.

"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. Now the experience of being at the top of the leaderboard for a few days will be really, really good."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1KINHULT, MarcusSWE18-16
5RAMSAY, RichieSCO18-12
T6WARING, PaulENG18-11

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