Tommy Fleetwood back in competition this week after four-month lay-off
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By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 23/07/20 10:05am
Tommy Fleetwood admits he left it until the latest possible moment to travel to the United States and get some competitive golf under his belt with a run of big event coming up.
After four months of "beautiful family time" Fleetwood flew to New York for his mandatory two weeks of quarantine, although his self-isolation period resembled a dream holiday for many club golfers as he stayed in The Hamptons and played golf at the likes of Shinnecock Hills and Friars Head.
Fleetwood insisted he would not use four months without a tournament as an excuse for not playing well this week as he feels he has had the required practice and playing time ahead of a gruelling nine-week spell which culminates with the US Open in September.
"I travelled two weeks ago, I did my two weeks quarantine, and then I start playing this week and play all the way through for the rest of the season," said the 29-year-old. "I've not got my family out with me, so I've now got nine weeks in the country that will be me and my caddie and seeing the guys out on Tour and stuff.
"It was always going to be like that with the way the quarantine rules are with coming into this country and doing the two weeks, and if I ever was going to go home, I had to do two weeks in the UK and that pretty much determined how it was going to play out.
"I'm now in a nine-week stretch where I'm going to work hard and play hard and see how well we can do. So leaving it just to almost to the latest possible point that there's events that I clearly want to play and there's events that I really did want to play, but it just wasn't a realistic kind of thing in the time frame, and I really did want to get out.
"I definitely think it was the right decision for myself and my family and going through this period because I knew once we come out, no matter when that was, I was going to be out here for the duration of the season now."
Fleetwood also admitted it was a "very tough" decision to make the trans-Atlantic trip rather than stay in Europe to compete on the UK Swing, which begins this week with the British Masters - a tournament hosted by Fleetwood at Hillside last year.
"The fact that we're able to play golf, whether it be in Europe or over here in America, I think we're very lucky," he added. "Whichever that situation was, there was never like a right one or one that I would be pressed to choose.
"I just think that with the way the golfing calendar is, the majors, WGCs, the FedEx, it's likely I was going to come over here and play these, which I think is the right thing to do.
"And this one as well, it's a tournament I've never played before and I think after you play a course, it just kind of settled well for me in regular conditions. If I would have been playing the whole time and everything and got to this, I would feel very comfortable.
"I think it's been amazing that we're doing so well as the PGA Tour to be playing all these events, but I think straightaway you're looking at majors, you're looking at FedEx, you're looking at Race to Dubai, you look at those and then you work your way around them."
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