RBC Canadian Open

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Hamilton Golf and Country Club

Tommy Fleetwood

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: We would like to welcome Tommy Fleetwood to the interview room here at the RBC Canadian Open. Tommy, you're coming off of a runner-up finish in 2023, and this is your third start at the event. Can you talk about your thoughts on being back and maybe some reflection on last year.

TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, it's an event that I've enjoyed. Yeah, I'm sort of, in a way, surprised that I only played it, this will be my third Canadian Open. Had good results here. I enjoy the way that the golf course is set up in a Canadian Open. Last year, it's clearly a tournament and an event that people are still talking about and probably will do for a long time in the future. I was very happy with the way I played last year. I would have loved to have for it to have gone my way, but still very cool to be a part of, and the support that I've had from the fans here and the people involved in the tournament has been really, really great, so I do appreciate that.

THE MODERATOR: You just came off the course from playing your nine hole pro-am. Can you share some thoughts about the golf course and your plans for the week.

TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, look, it's unbelievably beautiful golf course. Every hole visually is amazing. Yeah, I love the golf course. I think it's a great test. I think it's one of those, we've had pretty bad weather the last couple of days and it softened it up a lot, but I do think that then brings in different challenges. The rough plays wet and thick, and I think a lot of the greens actually slope back to front and you're going to have to hit a lot of half shots, I think, anything spinning too much into these greens, that's going to be an issue, really. I think, yeah, what it takes away with it playing softer I think it's definitely created some other tests as well. I think the golf course is great, I really do. I'm excited to play.

THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up to questions.

Q. You've played in Ryder Cups, you've been in the mix in major championship, how does the atmosphere last year at Oakdale compare to those other events?

TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, it was actually on its way to being a Ryder Cup. I think -- there was a couple of really cool things for me. I think, look, the support for Nick, he had a whole nation behind him, and I think that was amazing. I know what that feels like and it's great. I actually, they weren't that bad with me, they just definitely didn't want me to win, which was fine. A bunch of the European players came out to watch the playoff and I think when I saw those guys coming out I think that was one of the coolest moment, just having that support from those guys. For me, that was really cool and a really sort of touching moment that they would come out and watch me play and support me, because they sort of understood what the atmosphere was. Yeah, it was great. I think to have tournaments like that and atmospheres like that is, yeah, it's a huge reason of why we do what we do. Those events and those moments live in everybody's memory as players, really, and they're very, very cool. It was enjoyable.

Q. We've all seen the seen on the final green last year.

TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Have we? (Laughing).

Q. Maybe a million times. But we always look at Nick and Adam and all that chaos. Maybe take us through what you were doing and where you ended up after that putt dropped?

TOMMY FLEETWOOD: I did an interview on the side of the green, then I went to the locker room, collected my things and I left (laughing). That's just the nature of tournament golf. It wasn't my time, it was Nick's, and the whole of Canada had amazing moments to remember and cherish. Yeah, you play the tournament, when you're finished you get your stuff and you leave and you go on to the next one. That's just how it is. I flew to the U.S. Open and sort of tried to jump into that event as quickly as possible. Obviously knew I was playing well and I wanted to focus on that. But, yeah, I had an absolutely fantastic time playing. Yeah, once it's done, that's just the nature of the game, you pack up and leave.

Q. Were you aware of the chaos? That doesn't typically happen.

TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, of course. I was around the green for a good sort of 10, 15 minutes. Yeah, amazing moment. I missed Adam getting tackled. That might have made me feel a little bit better watching that one (smiling), something else to talk about (laughing). Yeah, but, of course, look, it was a very special occasion, and you don't get that every day, but I think when you do it just shines a light on the coolest moments that sport and the game can give.

Q. You played nine holes yesterday with Matthew Anderson, how did that come about and what impressed you about just him and his game?

TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Yeah, I was practicing on Monday and Matt came over, I think he was playing the pro-am actually, and I was on the putting green by the first tee. I think he had a wait on the tee, and he came over chatted me up for awhile and discussed playing on Tuesday. I said, you know, I had a golf outing yesterday, I was going to be late, and then, yeah, I arrived and Matt was there ready to play. So, really lovely guy. Got a bright future ahead of him. Hit the ball really, really well. He just looked like he was enjoying it a lot, which I think is really important. It's something that guys forget about at times. Yeah, hopefully he does great. I'm sure I'll see him around today and throughout the week, but happy to have the opportunity to meet someone new and play with him and make a new friend, really, that's just on the same journey as you.

Q. We heard cheers as you came into the media center. What's the reception been like for you in Canada, not just this week but last year as well?

TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Everybody here has always been amazing with me. I'm always very grateful. I feel like I'm lucky that I make a pretty good connection with people and fans. In Canada they have been particularly good with me and very, very nice. Even last year, I think the atmosphere could have been a lot more biased than it was, in a way, and it was still, you know, completely understandable, it was an amazing opportunity for Nick and the country. I've been very lucky with the reception that I got here and the support and the way the fans take me in. I am grateful and I'll always be very grateful for that. It makes a difference when you come somewhere and you have a nice reception.

Q. We saw the run that Scottie went on earlier this year. Rory was just in, and he almost shot 59 last time he was here. We saw how low Bryson can go recently. If all of professional golf, if everybody is playing to their optimum, I'm curious who you think finishes 1, 2, 3?

TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Great question. I don't know, but I would like to see it. Look, I still, I've said it a few times, and I never want to speak out of turn about other players, I still believe from everything that I've experienced since I've been playing that Rory is the best of our generation. I still believe that. However, players do arrive, and it's hard to say anything to back against Scottie Scheffler. Now, if you were a betting man, I think it's very hard to bet against Scottie Scheffler, the way he's playing. Who knows. It will be a great debate. It will be great to see at any given time, because it does happen rarely, the best players in the world and in the World Rankings, if you get two or three of them playing absolutely their best game, it would be lovely to see. Very difficult question. I think golf courses do make a difference. Then I also think, you know, you look at, major championships are generally, most of the time I think they're a good indicator of the best players in the world, and you look at the guys that end up at the top end of that leaderboard on a major, I think it always, for the most part, does them justice.

THE MODERATOR: All right. Thank you for joining us today. We'll let you go. Good luck this week.


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144589-3-1044 2024-05-29 23:24:00 GMT

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