Aston Villa’s crushing win over Liverpool lifted Tommy Fleetwood’s spirits

Tommy Fleetwood had Aston Villa to thank for easing the pain of his Scottish Open disappointment last weekend.

Fleetwood departed The Renaissance Club in North Berwick in low spirits after losing out to Aaron Rai on the first play-off hole, with Fleetwood pulling a three-foot putt for par wide of the hole having earlier also missed an even shorter putt at the 16th.

He admitted his touch on the greens had not been good all week in Scotland and admitted he needed to put in some work on his putting ahead of this week’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

But as the Everton fan headed home on Sunday evening, his mood was lifted significantly with the news from Villa Park, where Aston Villa were storming to an astonishing 7-2 victory over reigning Premier League champions Liverpool.

“Well, Aston Villa put an end to the sulking pretty much quite rapidly,” said Fleetwood, who insisted he wasn’t reading too much into his performance with the putter in Scotland.

“I didn’t really process it much, I didn’t really think about it much either. At the end of the day, there’s certain things that happen, and while I did think about it for a couple of minutes, I thought, I did everything right, really.

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“I missed a few putts early in the week. I missed one particular putt, I had a bad putt, but I didn’t feel like I let myself down in any other way other than hitting that one putt and that was it. I hit a great putt to get into the play-off.

“Lordy (Gareth Lord, Justin Rose’s caddie) said a nice thing on Monday night. He said: ‘You’ve got to be here to cock it up.’ And I thought that was a good way of putting it. I quite liked that and it was absolutely fine.

“And then Aston Villa made the day much better. I had it going in the passenger seat. I was trying to watch it and it was unbelievable, really.”

Fleetwood is now focused on maintaining his challenge for a second Race to Dubai title having moved up to third in the standings, behind Patrick Reed and Collin Morikawa.

“I’ve gone to Dubai the last three years and I’ve said it’s a privilege, really, to get to that event,” he added. “I absolutely loved coming down the stretch last year with a chance.

“Didn’t quite happen, but I’ve been first, third and second over the last three years, and then this year, I want to keep that spell going and it’s something that I’m kind of proud of – the consistency of being that high up and I’ve played well in the right tournaments for the last few years now.

“So yeah, I’d absolutely love that. There’s some amazing names that have won it once and there’s some amazing names that won it multiple times. So I’d love to be one of them.

“It’s still my proudest thing in golf winning The Race to Dubai, really, for playing over a whole year and finishing the highest in that ranking, I think it’s an amazing achievement.

“To be around and have another chance this year is great, but let’s focus on this week for now.”

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