Most players would give anything to draw Tiger Woods as a playing partner at Augusta National. Tommy Fleetwood is no different.
Yesterday the Englishman was told that he was joining four-time winner Tiger Woods for the first two rounds, with Woods making his first appearance at Augusta National since 2015.
“The first thing I thought was, ‘brilliant’,” Fleetwood told bunkered.co.uk. “The first proper Masters I watched was ’97 and as great as it is to play with Tiger Woods, and it is a dream to play with him at the Masters – and doing it at the Masters is the ultimate – but I will be doing my own thing.”
A few weeks ago, Rory McIlroy was vocal about the ‘chaos’ that surrounds Woods.
“I swear, playing in front of all that, he gives up half a shot a day on the field,” McIlroy said. “Like, it’s two shots a tournament he has to give to the field because of all that that goes on around.”
Fleetwood, though, says he’s going to take the drama in his stride.
“You know, it doesn’t matter who of the 86 people I’d be with, I’m going to be concentrating on my game. But it is still going to be a very special occasion.
“It is what it is. I wouldn’t want it any other way. It’s about part of the drama of playing with Tiger and I’m just glad to be a part of it.”
Fleetwood shots rounds of 78-74 to miss the cut last year and said his short-stick game let him down. But with a number of good performances Stateside so far this year – plus a win in Abu Dhabi – he says he’s in better shape one year on.
“Last year I didn’t putt well on the greens. This year I have prepared better and we’ll see what I can do. But any time you play in these tournaments it’s a chance to put your name in history. If you win it, your name’s there forever. Things can only get better for me.
“If I shot two horrendous scores, nothing changes. But if I end up winning the Masters after four days then my life changes.”
Fleetwood tees off at 10.42am (3.42pm UK time) alongside Woods and Marc Leishman.