January 06, 2018
Tommy Fleetwood: ‘I want to win majors and play in multiple Ryder Cups’
Tommy Fleetwood had precious few reasons to relish 2017 reaching its end. If there was one, then surely the biennial meeting of Europe and the United States falling this year provided the 26-year-old with valid cause to look forward rather than back.
Fleetwood ticks so many boxes that his appeal is both obvious and underplayed. As the son of a Southport lorry driver, he – like Rory McIlroy – provides an ideal antidote to the notion of golf as a playground for little rich kids. Fleetwood, every ounce the unaffected boy next door yet among the world’s leading golfers, should be admired. When a serious career slump, which reached a point during the summer of 2016 when Fleetwood was scared to tee off in competition play, is factored in then his stunning past 12 months is worthy of high praise.
What looks a key step in the next, logical path for Fleetwood arrives in Malaysia next weekend. He will form part of the European contingent at the Eurasia Cup, with the fact the captaincy is held by Thomas Bjorn highlighting what the event is intended to be a precursor for. It would be a surprise if Fleetwood does not qualify automatically for September’s Ryder Cup, at Le Golf National outside Paris, but he can still use three days in Kuala Lumpur to make a lasting impression on Bjorn.
“I wanted to be at the last two Ryder Cups but didn’t come close,” Fleetwood says. “As soon as I got to the level where I was one good year away from playing in a Ryder Cup, I wanted to do it. I’m starting off now with a much bigger building block in place.
“It is the biggest sporting occasion in the world when it comes around so I want to be there, I want to play multiple Ryder Cups. I just want to be part of that whole thing. Race to Dubai winner, playing in Ryder Cups, winning majors – these are all great parts of a career you want to have.”
The last time Europe faced the US, Fleetwood was trying to piece his golf back together from a low point of No188 in the world. “I had just started getting a little bit better,” he recalls. “I had a couple of top 15s, my game was coming round but I was in no place to be playing in a Ryder Cup.”
What happened next borders on a fairytale. Fleetwood won in Abu Dhabi, where he will defend his trophy this month, to kickstart a run that featured a runners-up position in a World Golf Championship, a tilt at the US Open, victory again in France and fatherhood for the first time.
Fleetwood emerged from a titanic battle with Justin Rose to claim the European Tour’s Race to Dubai crown, just weeks before getting married. “I’d have taken it … I’m not so sure I would have believed it,” says Fleetwood when asked if he would have accepted such a scenario if it had been offered 12 months ago. “Race to Dubai was never a goal at the start of last year. It’s funny because when you are doing it, you just keep going, keep playing. You don’t think about other things and you don’t want the run to stop.”
The joust with Rose looked like going against Fleetwood when he made a Sunday 74 to hand the Masters runner-up a position from which most onlookers expected him to convert. Instead, with Fleetwood watching from the scoring hut, Rose stumbled over the back nine.

Tommy Fleetwood: ‘I want to win majors and play in multiple Ryder Cups’

In hindsight, what would it have been like had he not prevailed? “I would have felt like shit,” Fleetwood admits. “When we walked off 18, it was completely out of our control. It was Justin’s to win over nine holes. I had a bad Sunday, Justin had a bad back nine so it’s shown up that way but we were the top two golfers throughout the year.
“It was a bit of a weird day because I was disappointed with how I played on the Sunday. Then I ended up winning it, which felt great, we all had a few beers then I got on a flight for Hong Kong and you start on a new tournament week.
“I’m not going to tournaments for no reason or just for a party. I had a few moments in Hong Kong, the odd minute where you sit down and reflect more than anything of having that ticked off in your career. It’s something special. I want to do it again now. It is a massively recognised thing, it isn’t just like winning a tournament. I went to the Bahamas [for the Hero World Challenge] and Tiger Woods comes in: ‘Tommy, awesome. Great stuff.’ Tiger Woods. It showed massive consistency in my game.”
For Fleetwood to become that modern-day rarity of an English major champion – Rose at the 2013 US Open and Danny Willett at the 2016 Masters are the only men to achieve this since Nick Faldo – short-game improvements must continue. There is also the continuing pushing of comfort-zone boundaries when in the company of major champions. “Stuff like WGCs and majors, playing more in America, the more you put yourself up against these guys, I feel like the majors – still the biggest events in the world –are just another tournament in a way because you have been playing in these fields,” Fleetwood explains.
“The more comfortable you are there, it is just about winning a golf tournament. The US Open was something I loved. You only gain that experience by being up there and doing it as much as you can.
“I had a massively consistent year and won twice. I want to win a lot more, wherever those tournaments are; winning is a habit I want to keep up. I didn’t win in Hong Kong straight after Dubai and was annoyed by it. Majors would be a nice natural progression. In my career I want to win multiple major championships.”
Plus, of course, achieve that Ryder Cup goal. Fleetwood raises a smile but delivers a firm “I don’t think so” when presented with the theory that the USA – Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas et al – seem destined to dominate. “I mean, the Americans are having one of the best times ever and they’ll have one of the best teams ever but Europe is by no means weak,” he says.
“When you talk about the Ryder Cup being a massive goal for me, you realise how hard it is to get into the team. It is going to be really difficult to get there, which shows the strength of European golf. I think it could be a brilliant Ryder Cup.” And one with Fleetwood, surely, as a component.
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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