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Fleetwood relaxed ahead of Race to Dubai showdown
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Fleetwood relaxed ahead of Race to Dubai showdown

Tommy Fleetwood finds himself in a familiar position as he arrives at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai but the European Tour's most recent winner insists he is not going to allow the prospect of securing a second Race to Dubai crown to take over this week.

Tommy Fleetwood

The Englishman ended his 22-month wait for a European Tour victory when he beat Marcus Kinhult at the first extra hole in a play-off to win the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player last week.

That left the 2017 Race to Dubai Champion just 723 points behind leader Bernd Wiesberger in the season-long rankings with one event remaining, meaning a strong finish and other results going his way could see him regain the Harry Vardon Trophy.

Fleetwood was also in contention to claim the European Number One crown last season, narrowly missing out to Ryder Cup partner Francesco Molinari.

But the 28-year-old is keen not to focus too much on that as he looks to maintain his recent good form.

He said: "I consider myself lucky that I have got a lot of experience. This is my third year in a row where I'm one of those players that has a chance to win The Race to Dubai. It's very special.

"There's only a certain number of people that have The Race to Dubai on their resume. I'm lucky to be one of them and I think it's one of my greatest achievements and I think I have experienced both sides.

"Obviously in 2017 when I won, I led it for such a long time. In 2018, I set out and it was never a goal at the start of the year to win The Race to Dubai and all of a sudden just because it was a possibility it became something that really hurt when I didn't, but realistically, I had not thought about it all year until the last few events that I had a chance.

"I just think it's important this year that I take those experiences into it and know that it still takes a lot to do it and it's not in my hands at all. 

"I can only do my best this week, take one shot at a time. At the end of it, whether I do well or not, I'm not going to be too hard on myself. It will be an amazing thing to do but it's not something that I'm going to push hard for or consume myself with it.

"I'm just going to enjoy this week and do the things that I've done so well to get in contention again."

Lowry

Open Champion Shane Lowry insists he will not rest on his laurels as he looks to finish his career-best season on a high.

It has been a campaign to remember for Lowry, who kicked off the year with victory at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA in January before claiming his first Major title in style at Royal Portrush in the summer.

The Irishman has an outside chance of winning the Race to Dubai title, heading into this week's European Tour season finale in fourth place behind leader Wiesberger, second placed Fleetwood and Jon Rahm.

And with plenty still to play for, Lowry is keen to keep his foot on the gas, knowing that he can be proud of what he has already accomplished when the season is over.

When asked how he may have responded if somebody had told him he would finish the season in his current position when he arrived in Abu Dhabi at the beginning of the year, Lowry said: "I probably would have laughed a little bit."

"Obviously I would have taken your hand off for what I've done this year - it's been incredible.

"It's not that I didn't ever think that I could do something like I did. I suppose the big thing is Portrush, and to be able to achieve something like that is obviously amazing and it's like a dream. It's a dream come true, really.

"But I try not to let myself think about it too much and try not to dwell on that. I'll be able to sit back next week with my Claret Jug and be happy with what I have. But I'm trying to do as well as I can this week.

"The one thing that's got me over the few months since The Open is, when you have bad days and you're shooting bad scores, people saying to you, 'you won The Open, it doesn't matter'. But it does matter.

"Every day it matters to me and I want to shoot the best score I can and I want to be the best player I can be every day.

"I'm going to go out and give my best this week and no matter what happens, I will be sitting back next week with a Major trophy in my cabinet this year, and I'll be happy with what I have.

"But it would be incredible to add European Number One to that list, as well."

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