Masters

Fleetwood ready for Tiger hype at Augusta

2018-04-05 14:55
Tommy Fleetwood (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Tommy Fleetwood is relishing the opportunity to tee it up alongside the resurgent four-time Masters winner Tiger Woods, after the Englishman was drawn with the American for the first two rounds of the opening Major of the season at Augusta National.

The 27-year-old will tee it up alongside the 14-time Major winner and Australian Marc Leishman with all eyes on Woods after his recent return to form following years of well-documented injury problems.

"The first real Masters I watched was 1997, when Tiger won his first. A few years on and I get to play with him and I don't think you can get a better draw than Tiger at the Masters, especially with what's going on in golf at the moment," said Fleetwood.

"All that said, I'm only bothered about me. Whatever he does is not my problem, I've got to get on with my own stuff. But it doesn't get much better than that. It's very cool.

"He was in his pomp when I was growing up. There was something about this week where I thought to myself, for some reason, I'm going to get Tiger Woods this week. I walked to the putting green at about 11 o'clock today and it was the biggest mass of people you could see imagine around here, just to see him and Phil walking off the 18th green so you get an idea of how busy it's going to be," said the 2017 Race of Dubai champion.

"As well as concentrating on my stuff I'll get to watch him up close and see what he does and there's nothing better than that."

Of course, Fleetwood is in a fine run of form himself having successfully defended his Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January while his worst European Tour finish in five starts this season is a share of 17th place.

"My game feels good at the moment. I feel like I've been preparing for quite a while. My first Masters was last year and I didn't see too much sunshine so it's nice to see the course without a cloud in the sky and with the shadows. It's nice to have that buzz around it. It's been lovely so far."

With anticipation over Woods' return to Augusta at fever pitch, Rory McIlroy incredibly comes into this week under the radar somewhat despite also finding form - returning to the winners' circle last month following a winless 2017 season - as he chases an historic Grand Slam.

Sergio Garcia, meanwhile, will defend his title following a life-changing 12 months which included marrying wife Angela before celebrating the birth of his first child Azalea - named after the famous 13th hole at Augusta in a nod to his maiden Major triumph this time last year.

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