Rolex Series

Meet Tommy Fleetwood’s biggest fan at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic

As the sun sets at Emirates Golf Club, Ken Farrance watches on with admiration as Tommy Fleetwood nears the end of a practice round.

The pair, known to each other for many years, have just shared a jovial exchange about a time when Fleetwood cleared the water guarding the par-five 18th green on the Majlis Course in two.

It’s a moment that so often goes unseen to the public at home, who tune in on a Thursday with interest to see how the start of a tournament is unfolding.

Tommy Fleetwood Ken

Farrance has flown out to Dubai this week for the Hero Dubai Desert Classic, the first Rolex Series event of the year on the DP World Tour.

“He’s been watching me for years,” says Fleetwood as the pair stand side by side near a grandstand behind the final green.

Put simply, Farrance is Fleetwood’s number one fan.

“Scottish Open [at] Castle Stuart,” replies Farrance, when prompted by Fleetwood of when he first came to watch the English golfer in person.

He is unable to remember the exact year, but it must be in the early 2010s with Fleetwood having made his debut at the event in 2012 when the Inverness-based links course played host.

Farrance is a family friend of Fleetwood’s parents and lives in the Cheshire town of Knutsford, England.

“He lives pretty much in the same village in the UK. He’s a Knutsford legend,” says Fleetwood with a smile.

“You quite often find Ken in the Knutsford Guardian.”

Farrance is quick to laugh it off, offering in reply: “That’s a myth.”

After joking that Farrance is 173, Fleetwood reveals some of the extent he plays in his career.

Looking at his friend, Fleetwood says: “You keep on top of all the stats. He’s very good at that.

“You’re actually part of the team, because you’re the World Ranking correspondent. I don’t know how it works and you do.”

Quick to reply, Farrance says: “There’s not many people who understand how the World Ranking works are there.”

Well, following his victory at the Dubai Invitational last weekend, Fleetwood is up to 11th in the standings as he sits on the cusp of a return to the top ten for the first time since early 2020.

Should Fleetwood be in contention down the stretch come this Sunday, you can be sure who won’t be far away willing him on.

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