Dubai: Englishman Tommy Fleetwood, who won the DP World Tour Championship in 2017, refuses to be provoked into putting himself under pressure as he heads into the European Tour season finale starting on Thursday as a leading contender.
Fleetwood brings winning form to the Jumeirah Golf Estates’s Earth Course designed by Australian golfing great Greg Norman, having won last week’s Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City in South Africa to move into second place behind leader Bernd Wiesberger in the Race to Dubai Rankings.
The Englishman stands out on golf courses not just because of his rock star hairstyle, which he uses to cover up what he calls a ‘weird shaped head’, was notching a fifth win on the European Tour but first in close to two years.
With 2,000 points up for grabs this weekend, Fleetwood can pocket a second Dubai title if he strings together four solid rounds of golf on the Par 72 course which opened in 2009.
The 28-year-old currently sits in second place, just 723 points behind leader Bernd Wiesberger from Austria whose notable win came in the Italian Open in October.
“I consider myself lucky that I’ve got a lot of experience of being in this position,” said Fleetwood, “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.
“I just think it’s important this year that I take the experiences of 2017 and 2018 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,” he insisted.
“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.”
Reflecting on his play-off victory over Marcus Kinhult at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City last week he said: “It’s really, really cool when you win a tournament. And it’s great for the people who go on the journey with you.”
A lot is at stake in Dubai this weekend. Besides the winner picking up a huge cheque of $3 million (Dh11.01 million), the largest first prize in world golf, an additional $2 million as a bonus awaits the winner of the Race to Dubai.
Fleetwood is no dreamer and realises that he will have to be at his best to ward of challenges from the top 50 players on this season’s European Tour, to secure a second victory in three years.
“You have to play extremely well against all these players to find yourself in contention,” he said. “If you don’t, you’re not going to be there, and that’s it, really. You can only try your best. It’s been a long year!”