Like a number of players, Tommy Fleetwood had some serious momentum prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought last golf season (and all the other sports seasons) to a screeching halt. Before the cancellation of the Players Championship, the Englishman had a T-2 at the Abu Dhabi Championship last January, then finished third at the Honda Classic in Florida a month later.
Post-restart, he never found that same groove on the PGA Tour, failing to post a single top 10 (he did have two top fives on the European Tour, however), a product of all the uncertainty of these strange times, as he explained as our guest on the “Be Right” podcast this week.
“I remember sitting there when the schedule got re-announced, and I couldn’t really travel at the time,” said Fleetwood, who is teeing it up in the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship this week. “When Colonial was on it and a few other events, there was a two-week quarantine period and then if I’d have traveled home there was another two-week quarantine period, and that just wasn’t going to happen. So I left a bit late, and when I came back out at 3M, I was a bit rusty.
“It was a strange kind of year. When it’s a curtailed, short season, you’re kind of pushing for every week, every shot you hit, every round. It can get frustrating, and you can lose some kind of patience that you normally have on a year-long run.”
Fleetwood did find some positives from it, like spending more time with his family. Unlike the rest of us, though, he didn’t enjoy the whole taking-up-a-new-hobby portion of quarantine. He attempted to cook, and it lasted all of one dish.
“I can’t cook, at all,” he said. “But I said, yeah, I’m going to try it, we’ve got time. Everybody seems to be trying something new. And I realized, I just don’t enjoy it. I’m not good at it, you [Fleetwood’s wife] clearly make better food than me, so it just doesn’t make sense for me to carry this on. It’s just the way it is. So I dropped that pretty quick.”
Fleetwood later revealed the exact dish that caused him to quit on cooking, and he also stuck around to discuss his 2021 plans, his quiet 30th birthday and his new partnership with TAG Heuer. He also explained why he felt (a little) bad for Hideki Matsuyama, who was leading the Players Championship after one round, only for the event to be canceled. To hear our full conversation with Tommy, plus our American Express and Abu Dhabi picks, please have a listen to this week’s “Be Right” podcast below.