Fleetwood eyeing dream start in Hong Kong
November 21, 2018
The 2019 Race to Dubai has not even started yet but Tommy Fleetwood already has his sights set on maintaining the form that saw him rise to the top of golf world when he tees it up at the HONMA Hong Kong Open presented by Amundi this week.
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“I think it was a great follow to what was the season of my life. I would have liked to have won another time after starting so strong and winning, and I think I played well enough to win a lot of the time, but always sort of had one round that cost me or made me fall just short."
The Englishman currently sits ninth in the Official World Golf Ranking, a career high for the 27 year old, and arrives at Hong Kong Golf Club in excellent form with 15 top 20 finishes pushing him to third on the season-long Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex.
“It's a brilliant year. You have to remember how well you've done, and the two guys that finished above of me in the Race to Dubai were two Major champions. But the good thing to look forward to is I feel like there's a lot many of improvement out there, so that's still the exciting part."
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The Ryder Cup star would dearly love to be crowned European Number One once again and has an impressive track record in this event, finishing in the top six in both of his previous appearances.
“I feel the last two years, it's set up nicely for me. It is quite a big patience game because you feel like there's a lot of chances, but the course actually doesn't give you that much in the end. Especially if the wind is swirling, it makes it very difficult. But in general, ball striking is pretty key. You can't really play this golf course from off the fairways. You have to be on the fairway to score, and that's obviously one of my strengths, so hopefully I can keep that up for just one more week.”
Meanwhile, Rafa Cabrera Bello is hoping to make it third time lucky this week. The Spaniard has finished second in his last two starts at the event, losing out by a single shot to Australians Sam Brazel and Wade Ormsby in the 2017 and 2018 seasons."
"The game is feeling good. I've hit the ball well. I played decent last week, didn't get it going on the greens but overall tee-to-green, I was very solid.
"It's a really cool city. I've played well here before and it's a place that's treated Spanish golfers very nicely. I enjoy the time I spend here and that's why I come back every year."
His runner-up finish last term was his best result of another incredibly consistent campaign that saw him record a further five top tens, four of the them in Majors, World Golf Championships and Rolex Series events.
"I know it's very close to be up there again. Hopefully I can draw back from nice memories and good experiences here in the past and let's see if I give myself a chance again this year."