PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Tommy Fleetwood, a golfer once rated within the men’s top ten, continues to be missing from the PGA Tour leaderboard for such a long time, fans might not have recognized him as he vaulted into to begin with throughout the first round in the Players Championship here on Thursday.
Fleetwood has additionally shaved his trademark – and popular – frowzy beard. And can turn the hair on your face is missing, partly, due to his recent 2 yrs of jagged play, which led to Fleetwood losing his PGA Tour playing rights.
“I was in a negative mood,” Fleetwood, 31, stated. “It was break some golf equipment or shave my beard. I selected the beard.”
Fleetwood, a winsome Englishman most widely known for his shoulder-length hair and 2nd-place finish in the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hillsides, performed like his old self for 18 holes on Thursday. His six-under-componen 66 was among the cheapest scores one of the several dozen golfers who finished an initial round which was two times delayed by heavy rain and thunderstorms.
When play was suspended due to darkness on Thurs ., Fleetwood was tied atop the leaderboard with Tom Hoge. Roughly half the area didn’t complete their models and can aspire to tee off early Friday morning, though there’s more rain within the forecast.
But Fleetwood’s usual sunny disposition broke through, and the golf backstory could be relatable to anybody that has performed the sport recreationally or professionally. As they spent greater than fifteen minutes attempting to let you know that among the world’s best golfers had sunk into an on-course funk that at some point dropped him to 137th within the FedEx Cup rankings, also, he smiled and simplified.
“It’s only a strange game that you simply never appear so that you can understand or that is not sensible,” Fleetwood stated having a laugh.
As they accepted to being somewhat lost inside a golfing abyss, he declined to become downtrodden.
“I have among the best jobs on the planet,” Fleetwood stated. “I’ve simply not been performing to the stage that I wish to perform at. Again, I am not likely to sit here and moan or complain about playing poorly for a few years.”
Fleetwood, who plays on the PGA and European tours, offered some explanations for his drop in the world’s ninth-rated player in 2018 to 49th entering this week’s Players Championship.
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“There’s been some things within my swing which i haven’t quite understood,” he stated. “So your confidence requires a hit because you aren’t quite comfortable on the course. It accumulates.Inches
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He added: “My results haven’t been terrible, but I’ve lacked clearly excellent results. After which I believe especially from the world ranking perspective, which makes it very, very hard. So I’ve just kind of been progressively declining.”
Fleetwood playing a strategy shot around the 14th hole.
Fleetwood playing a strategy shot around the 14th hole.Credit…Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Traveling the planet to experience on two tours hasn’t helped.
“You’re playing minimal occasions on tours,” Fleetwood stated. “Even within my best years, I had been always beginning way behind the 8-ball simply to play consistently throughout individuals years. Again, it’s difficult to make headway. So when you aren’t seeing good scores and also the shots aren’t quite there, it simply becomes progressively difficult for this to alter that momentum.”
For Fleetwood, like the majority of golfers, the sport mystifies. Which applies to the the best. He didn’t, for instance, arrived at Florida looking to be leading players Championship at any time. Late Thursday mid-day after his round, he spoken about playing “dreadful” recently – however birdied his first couple of holes.
That could have introduced good quality karma, however it was stopped when inclement weather forced a delay in excess of three hrs. Fleetwood, however, was undeterred.
“I was quite happy once the delay came,” he stated. “You understood a delay was coming anyway, and so i required the break and then I acquired to rehearse. I Then began your day by holing a putt and also got going again.”
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The rain-drenched fairways and vegetables made conditions challenging, but Fleetwood continued to be unfazed, clocking three more birdies in the next nine holes. He carried out with a birdie around the componen-5 16th hole and the other around the treacherous 18th. The close left him grinning, but he’d not predict future results, not following the latter years. Searching ahead to his next round, he stated: “I might play terrible, I would play great. We’ll see.”
Fleetwood was a lot more certain concerning the eventual fate of his once-famous beard.
Requested if his wife, Clare, likes him clean shaven or with hair on your face, he clarified: “She certainly includes a preference, and it is not that one.Inches
Fleetwood does think he looks more youthful with no beard. He was playing inside a tournament together with his fellow tour players Viktor Hovland and Collin Morikawa on his 31st birthday in The month of january, he stated, once the duo checked out him and told him: “We needed to Google how old you are. I figured you had been 37, 38.”
He added: “Everyone type of observed which i look a great deal more youthful with no beard.”
However Fleetwood were built with a final thought.
“Clare certainly prefers me having a beard, so I’ll certainly fill it up back,” he stated. “As lengthy when i will keep my temper and smiling, i then won’t be required to shave them back again.”