Tommy Fleetwood back in Hong Kong as new season gets under way

23 November 2017 05:54

Just four days after winning the Race to Dubai, Tommy Fleetwood returns to the place where his successful bid to become European number one began at the UBS Hong Kong Open.

Fleetwood finished third at Fanling 12 months ago, won in Abu Dhabi on his next start and also claimed victory in the French Open on his way to finishing just 58,821 points ahead of Justin Rose.

Former winner Rose and Sergio Garcia, who finished fourth in the Race to Dubai after fellow Spaniard Jon Rahm won the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, have also made the journey from Dubai to Hong Kong for the first event of the new season.

"New season, let's go again," Fleetwood said. "I found it amazing that I started the season here last year, 12 months ago, and then you were watching the last shot be played in the Race to Dubai to decide what happened.

"Even though it's the new season we're carrying on (playing) tournaments; this is the fifth week away now but we'll keep working hard and keep doing the same things.

"When we do get chance to sit down, we'll have a look at what was good in 2017, what could be improved on and we'll make sure that we make those adjustments and then look at goal-setting as well.

"The last few weeks of last season it was all about trying to win the Race to Dubai and it's impossible to take your mind off that. It could have gone either way at the end and it was really nice that it got completed and it's something that I'll have forever."

Rose won in Hong Kong in 2015 and knows the secret to success around a tight, par-70 layout measuring just 6,710 yards, around 1,000 yards shorter than the course in Dubai last week.

"It takes patience, I think," said the Olympic champion, who was on course to clinch the Race to Dubai with a third straight win before a late collapse on Sunday.

"I've played this golf course well and I haven't played it well at times, I think, when I've got a little bit impatient because this course tempts you to hit driver.

"It does offer you the opportunity to hit driver and take on a bit of risk to try and have a little wedge in your hand. It's a very strategic golf course.

"I'm excited to be here. It's nice to be here. It's nice to turn over a new leaf or a new page and start the 2018 season and lead the Race to Dubai after this week. One week too late but that would be nice."

Source: PA