Aug 9th, 2018
Caddy Fleetwood receives Tommy Fleetwood's Open winnings by mistake
You couldn't make this up...
Words: Tim Southwell
Your name happens to be Tommy Fleetwood and you make your living in golf. But you're not that Tommy Fleetwood. You're not the Tommy Fleetwood who won the European Race To Dubai and recorded top 5 finishes in majors in 20178 and 2018.
You're the Tommy Fleetwood who attempted, unsuccessfully, to qualify for the European Seniors Tour and now, 58, caddies at the Streamsong Resort in Bowling Green, Florida.
You're the Tommy Fleetwood who, when he signed up for the European Tour qualifiers, gave The European Tour your bank details in case you won any money. You're the Tommy Fleetwood who just received $US150,000 in prize money from last month's British Open. Without actually playing in it. You can see where this is going...
But when the amount of $154,480 appeared and deposited on August 3rd into Tommy Fleetwood’s bank statement (sandwiched between a 3rd August wire transfer fee of $16 and an online Walmart payment of $14.37), the US-based Fleetwood wondered what he’d done to deserve the amount.
It was Fleetwood’s friend Greg Horner who went onto Twitter to highlight the transfer blunder.
“My friend Tommy is caddy at the Streamsong Resort in Central Florida and I was with him there today when he received a notification on his cell phone,” said Thorner.
Thorner, a teaching pro from Tampa, said. “It was only for $14 or something but he called it up and looked at his statement, and that’s when he shouted ‘Holy smoke, I’ve jut had £154,000 paid into my account!’
“Tommy got on to his bank immediately and they didn’t know what to say. That’s when I realised that it must be for the other Tommy Fleetwood and I quickly worked out that it was his Open winnings.”
"My mother called me to say she's been getting lots of calls from the media," said Florida Tommy Fleetwood "It was an honest mistake. I tried to get in touch with Tommy to put his mind at rest that I wasn't planning on keeping it!"
"This was a clerical error which we are resolving and we apologise for the inconvenience caused to both parties," the European Tour said in a statement.
The Tommy Fleetwood who won the European race to Dubai, finished top 5 in the majors in 2017 and 2018 and is world number 11 and who was preparing to tee off at the 100th PGA Championship on Thursday, found the situation quite humorous:
“I honestly didn’t know anything about it,” Fleetwood said. “I wouldn’t even know if I’d been paid or not because I don’t really look. It looks pretty genuine and they are looking into it and I’m sure they’ll feel pretty bad about it. It’s a funny story. ”
Red faces all round, one would assume...