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Tommy Fleetwood, Pep and a title-winning round!

TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Shooting up the world golf rankings

TOMMY FLEETWOOD: Shooting up the world golf rankings

Who do you call when you fancy a round of golf on the day your team could be crowned Premier League champions?

Well, if you’re Pep Guardiola, world No.12, and current European No.1, Tommy Fleetwood isn’t a bad shout!

Pep and Tommy met up for a round a week last Sunday with the City boss looking to shift focus away from the day job and instead play against one of golf’s biggest stars of the past 12 months.

Fleetwood has jettisoned from rank 99 to 12 in the world having won the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and finishing fourth as the US Open last June.

His friendship with Pep has grown during that time and the pair will partner up for this year’s Pro-Am competition at Wentworth ahead of next month's PGA Championship.

EYES ON THE PRIZE: Tommy is targeting a major and Ryder Cup place in 2018

“We were introduced through a mutual friend because I had always admired Pep and knew he liked a game of golf,” revealed Fleetwood.

“I don’t think either of us expected to get on with each other as well as we did but we hit it off immediately; his sense of humour is very similar to mine!

“He’s a very good golfer and works hard at practising, too. I don’t think he’s the type to do anything half-halfheartedly. His son plays some great golf as well. I think if Pep took golf up he could be a champion!”

The question most City fans wanted to know was how Pep managed to concentrate on his game while the Blues were closing in on a third Premier League title in seven years?

Was he keeping up with the score at Old Trafford on his mobile or by some other means?

“We chatted about football but not really about the situation,” said Fleetwood.

“I wasn’t with him when he found out United had lost, but he screamed his delight down the phone to me when the result came in just after we had left the course! It was very funny!”

Though Tommy isn’t a lifelong City fan, his wife is – as are the rest of her family. He admits to having a soft spot for City, though his loyalties lie with a darker shade of blue.

“It’s no secret that Everton are my team,” he said. “I’m a proud Toffee but the rest of the family in my house support Man City so of course I was very happy for them winning the title.

“Rory McIlroy's dad Gerry is a huge City fan and he and my wife Clare talk about footie probably more than me and Rory, though we do talk football sometimes - doesn’t everyone talk football?”

PEP AND RORY MCILLROY: Tee time

So, having shot up the world rankings, what are Tommy’s immediate aims for 2018?

He said: “My main aim is consistency, it’s important to me to keep playing well and with that will come results or qualifications.

“Of course, I’d love to play my first Ryder Cup, it would be an amazing experience and one I do think about a lot, but it isn’t at the forefront of my mind when I play every tournament.

“A major is a realistic target and there’s no reason why that can’t happen.

“Again though, I need more experience in majors so I’m aiming for consistency in my results when I go there.

“I always play to win as every good golfer does and I know I’m capable of winning majors but every time I play right now, I just want to learn more and be better for the next one. Learning is always the root of my motivation.

“Next on the agenda I’m playing this week's Zurich Classic as one of Zurich’s official ambassadors. I can’t wait to visit the city and can’t wait to play a tournament with my mate Chris Paisley - it’s a unique format and should be a laugh to play together.

“After that I’m in Charlotte then Florida and home for a week before playing BMW PGA championship at Wentworth with my new pal Pep as my Pro-Am partner!!

"I can’t wait for that!”

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