Fleetwood relishing chance to land hat-trick at ‘Africa’s Major’
Englishman has chance to join elite group of players who have won the Nedbank Golf Challenge three times in succession
Tommy Fleetwood is hoping he can convert his consistent form into a first worldwide win of the year as he aims to complete the Nedbank Golf Challenge hat-trick starting on Thursday at Sun City.
The Englishman arrived in SA with the chance to join an elite group of players — including Tiger Woods and Nick Faldo — who have won the same DP World Tour event three times in succession.
After a playoff victory in 2019, Fleetwood returned to Sun City after the event’s two-year hiatus due to Covid-19 and retained his crown as he held off Ryan Fox in a thrilling climax 12 months ago.
With nine top 10s worldwide since the start of the year, Fleetwood is now hoping the memories from his stellar record at the Gary Player Golf Course and Country Club inspire him to a seventh DP World Tour title.
“I’ve played really well. You should always look at the positives and I think this year has been arguably my most consistent year,” he said.
“I am very happy with how I’ve been playing. Yes, there’s not been a win, but I’ve been very, very close. Things could have gone either way in certain events.
“It’s always nice when you come back to somewhere where you have memories of getting on holes and you see good shots.
“You never really feel comfortable on this course. But I guess when you’ve played well, you’re going to feel as comfortable as possible and having the experience coming down the stretch and winning is very important and nice to have. We’ll see.
“Not won yet, but there’s still a couple of events to go for the rest of the year.”
Fleetwood heads into the penultimate event of the season lying 29th on the Race to Dubai Rankings, with the DP World Tour Championship — the fifth and final Series event of the year — to follow next week.
The 32-year-old, who helped Team Europe regain the Ryder Cup in October, is understandably thrilled by his place in the history of “Africa’s Major”.
“Ever since the first time I came, it’s got a very special feeling to it driving into the gates of Sun City and it’s such a historic event for a lot of us,” said the defending champion, who has finished no worse than a tie for 21st in his six previous visits.
This year boasts a stellar 66-man field including Fleetwood, Major winners Justin Rose, Francesco Molinari and Justin Thomas, and Ryder Cup stars Max Homa, Nicolai Højgaard and Robert MacIntyre as well as a host of other DP World Tour winners.
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