Fleetwood defies disease with win over drought

The 31-year-old Englishman was unsure if he could take part in the Sun City tournament, dubbed ‘Africa’s major’, which he won in its last edition in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic hit. COVID-19.

“It was touch and go Thursday morning,” Fleetwood said. “Then on Saturday, when we woke up early and I felt like I had nothing in me. I was in terrible pain again.

“The doctor here has been amazing. I just gave his grandson the winning golf ball. Without him, I wouldn’t have a chance to play on Thursday,” he added.

The second round started on Friday but had to be finished on Saturday after an intense storm in the Highveld saw golfers pulled from the course for fear of lightning.

On Sunday, bad weather again interrupted play for several hours, disrupting the pace of some players, but not Fleetwood who stormed the back nine to win with a blow from New Zealander Ryan Fox.

“The doctor here has been amazing. I just gave his grandson the winning golf ball. Without him, there was no way I was playing on Thursday.” -Tommy Fleetwood.

“We didn’t know what was going on, if it would be three rounds, so I just thought if I could keep moving, keep playing… and I was playing well.

“It wasn’t too stressful for me and I just had it in my mind to keep going and you never know what happens,” he said after a tearful victory ceremony.

Fox missed a chance to top the Tour standings ahead of the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai next week when he missed the final hole to finish a stroke behind in second place.

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“I played well and didn’t miss a shot before the 18th,” Fox said. “I certainly would have liked to play the 18 a little better and make Tommy work a little harder, but it’s an incredibly difficult golf course to play all the way to the end.

“We were all there or thereabouts with three holes to go but Tommy was the one holding on. Fair play for him. If you had given me second place at the start of the week I would definitely have taken,” he added.

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Michael C. Ford