TOMMY Fleetwood kick-started his Betfred British Masters week with victory in the first Hero Challenge of the 2019 European Tour season, defeating compatriot Matt Wallace in the final at Princes Dock in Liverpool.
This year’s British Masters host topped group one and then defeated Ladies European Tour and LPGA star Charley Hull in the semi-final before taking on Wallace, who won group two and then saw off Alexander Levy, winner of the inaugural Hero Challenge at The Grove in 2016, in his semi-final.
Fleetwood found the floating target in the centre of Liverpool’s Princes Dock with each of his six shots in the final, scoring an incredible 250 points – a new Hero Challenge record score.
“I’ve not done well in these before, so if I had to pick one to win it would definitely be this one,” said Fleetwood.
“Charley really pushed me in that semi-final – I was one shot away from being out. She was relentless, I knew it was going to be hard work when she was disappointed that she only scored 25 points with her first shot.
“I didn’t miss the target once in 22 shots, so I’m really happy with that. It was great having the home support in the final too.”
Fleetwood was presented with the trophy by Dr Pawan Munjal, the chairman, managing director and chief executive officer of Hero MotoCorp – the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters.
He was joined in the inaugural Hero Challenge by Stephen Gallacher, winner of the 2019 Hero Indian Open, former World No. 1 Martin Kaymer, five-time European Tour winner Alex Levy, four-time European Tour winner Matt Wallace, from Hertfordshire, and women’s golf star Charley Hull, from Kettering.
It was the fourth successive season in which the British Masters was preceded by the Hero Challenge, the innovative event having made its debut in 2016 at The Grove.
The European Tour returns to Hillside for the first time in 37 years for this week’s British Masters from May 9-12. Fleetwood is following in the footsteps of of Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose and Lee Westwood as host of the British Masters. Tickets are available here.