Tommy Fleetwood fell one match short of a perfect rookie week but won’t be sour after helping Europe regain the Ryder Cup.
Fleetwood was 4-0 going into the Sunday singles after forming an excellent combination with Francesco Molinari. With ‘Moliwood’ separated for the last session, the Englishman was left to face fellow rookie Tony Finau.
It was the American who raced into a two-hole lead before Fleetwood won two holes in a row to draw level before an uncharacteristically poor stretch with his putter helped Finau gain the ascendency.
‘It’s golf. It’s life,’ Fleetwood said after watching his teammates do the business around the course where he won in 2017.
‘I got off to a couple of bad shots on the first few holes, and then a couple of missed putts on the 5th and 6th. So he was 2-up through six, but the rest of the time … not that I played great, but I can’t take anything away from Tony.
‘He was so good today.’
The 2017 Race to Dubai winner rued his cold putter as he failed to spark the crowd in the same fashion he’d done previously.
‘The only difference was I couldn’t hole the putts to get the crowd going. You’re spread out over 12 matches instead of four, but I just didn’t do anything. I didn’t do enough to get the crowd going, really.’
Fleetwood insisted that the week will not be soured by one loss with his side’s fortunes always at the forefront.
Countryman and teammate Ian Poulter labelled the successful rookie ‘a different class’.
‘What he’s been able to deliver this week has been truly exceptional,’ said Poulter.
‘I don’t think anyone’s won the first four matches as a rookie, and he did it. It was simply incredible. He’s been great fun to have in the team room and fun to play alongside and he’s simply amazing.’