Hong Kong - Tommy Fleetwood on Thursday said home advantage
could help Europe upset the United States in this month's Ryder Cup, insisting
the hosts won't be intimidated by the likes of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
The Englishman said vociferous crowds and a familiar course
at Le Golf National, near Paris, would boost Europe's bid to regain the trophy
after their drubbing at Hazeltine in 2016.
And Fleetwood, a Ryder Cup debutant who is playing his first
season on America's PGA Tour, said there would be little fear factor when it comes
to facing Woods and Mickelson, who have 19 major titles between them.
"Most of us guys on the European team play on the same
tournaments against Phil and Tiger week in, week out at the moment,"
Fleetwood told a teleconference after confirming his appearance at November's
Hong Kong Open.
"You can't deny that they're the best golfers ever and
they always will be. But when you tee it up you're just playing another golfer,
it doesn't matter who it is."
"It will help their team in an experience sense,
because they've played so many Ryder Cups, but it will make no difference to us,"
added the world number 12.
Woods and Mickelson headline a formidable American team
which boasts three of this year's four major victories and six of the world's
But Europe include newly crowned world number one Justin
Rose, Open champion Francesco Molinari and an in-form Rory McIlroy, who has
four majors to his name.
Paul Casey, last year's Masters winner Sergio Garcia, Henrik
Stenson and Ryder Cup specialist Ian Poulter were captain Thomas Bjorn's four
"There's been a lot of talk how good the American side
is and there's no doubt it, they've got an unbelievable team," said
Fleetwood, who was second at this year's US Open and won the European Tour's
2017 Race to Dubai.
"But I think at the same time Europe has too. I
honestly think it could be one of the best Ryder Cups ever... I fancy our
chances, I really do."
Fleetwood, one of the big names at the November 22-25 Hong
Kong Open, also spoke in support of the city's colonial-era Fanling course,
which is under threat of development.
"I think it would be something horrible to happen to a
golf course that's got so much history," he said.
"There's so many courses that aren't really standing
the test of time but this golf course holds up. I think it would be a massive
blow to golf in general."