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Inside Tommy Fleetwood’s week as a caddie for his stepson on the Challenge Tour

Inside Tommy Fleetwood’s week as a caddie for his stepson on the Challenge Tour

Days on from his third event in as many weeks on the PGA TOUR, Tommy Fleetwood showed everyone why he is such a universally well-regarded figure in golf by caddying for his stepson on the European Challenge Tour.

After a three-week stretch playing in the United States, including at the Masters Tournament in the first men’s Major Championship of the season, Fleetwood arrived in the Middle East last week with an unfamiliar but equally exciting opportunity. 

With victory at the Ras Al Khaimah Men's Open - run by the Emirates Golf Federation - at Al Hamra Golf Club in February, Fleetwood’s 17-year-old stepson Oscar Craig earned his place at the Challenge Tour’s UAE Challenge in Abu Dhabi. 

From that moment, and with the dates aligning to suit his schedule, Fleetwood was intent on being by Craig’s side walking the fairways to provide his vast knowledge at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club. 

While he didn’t have to, Fleetwood wanted to and that is testament to his character. The fact Craig went on to make the cut as an amateur only made the week extra special.

“However good a time he has had, I have had a better one caddying for Oscar,” Fleetwood told the European Challenge Tour. 

“Oscar said when he made the cut it was more than he could have ever dreamt of. I just think that is one of the most beautiful things you could ever hear, and he's done great.”

After making the cut on his Challenge Tour debut, Dubai-based Craig said his “emotions were all over the place” during the final few holes of the second round. 

With a par down the last hole needed to ensure his progress over the weekend, he made a birdie to be the only amateur to play all four rounds.

Fleetwood still to those day cites his memories of playing on the Challenge Tour as among the best in his career, one that has seen him win seven DP World Tour titles, play among the elite on the PGA TOUR, compete at the Major Championships and represent Team Europe at Ryder Cups with distinction.

I think I might even have become a better player by caddying and learnt a few things

Having turned professional in 2010, Fleetwood played a full season in 2011 before progressing to the DP World Tour the following year. Now, he hopes Craig can go on to achieve his own dreams in the game.

“It is one of the great things about the Challenge Tour. The Tour travels the world,” said Fleetwood.

“Wherever they go I think locally, to give those invites… is such a great opportunity for them [players] to have their eyes open to professional golf.”

He added: “Having our boys who are working so hard at it, and they are clearly dreaming of a future in the game. To see their work pay off is great.”

But it isn’t just teenager Craig who will have taken a great deal from the experience. Even with what he has achieved in the game, Fleetwood is always learning and believes experiencing the game from a different perspective can help him in his own career.

“I think I might even have become a better player by caddying and learnt a few things,” he reflected.

“I think I should play with the attitude that I have when I caddy! As a caddie you see the right shot to play as a player. As a player you feel you can pull off any shot and want to give it a go so I think you are much more sensible as a caddie.

"I think your attitude stays more neutral because you have to make sure your player stays that way. There has been a lot to take away from it."

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