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WGC-Mexico runner-up fueled Fleetwood's rise

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MEXICO CITY – It was a year ago at Chapultepec Golf Club that Tommy Fleetwood began his rise from English curiosity to a player on the verge of cracking the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking and playing in his first Ryder Cup.

Although Fleetwood had enjoyed success on the European Tour, having won in Abu Dhabi just a few weeks before the 2017 WGC-Mexico Championship, it was his runner-up finish at Chapultepec that has fueled the reigning Race to Dubai winner's climb.

“This event in particular, just in a world field on a world stage, actually performing like I did on a Sunday and having a chance in the end to win is a massive confidence booster for me,” Fleetwood said on Tuesday. “It pushed me on even further really and just gave me that belief that when I do play well, I can compete towards the end of a big tournament with the world's best players.”

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Fleetwood, who finished a stroke behind eventual champion Dustin Johnson in Mexico last year, has added two more titles to his European Tour resume since last year’s event in Mexico and become one of the game’s most consistent performers.

The Englishman hasn’t missed a cut anywhere in the world since last September and has six top-10 finishes in that span, including last week’s fourth-place showing at the Honda Classic.

His play the last few months has made for a smooth tranistion to the PGA TOUR. He’s made the cut in his first two starts as a Tour member and has an ambitious schedule the next few weeks, with starts planned at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and the Masters.

“I was surprised how much support I had. Last week was brilliant. I absolutely loved it,” he said of his transition to the United States. “Some of the courses are tougher. They're a different test of what we get. We don't really play courses like last week, the Honda. It’s a little bit of a different scene than in Europe that you've done all your life really, but I'm happy with my performance.”