How Tommy re-conquered Sun City

Words by
Josh Coles
How Tommy re-conquered Sun City

Tommy Fleetwood successfully defended his Nedbank Challenge title on Sunday at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, South Africa. The Englishman’s one-shot victory over the in-form Ryan Fox moves him up to 4th in the Race To Dubai behind Rory McIlroy, Fox and Matt Fitzpatrick.

“I already had so many great memories of this place,” said the emotional champion after completing back to back wins at the tournament, albeit three years apart. The Ryder Cup stalwart was also confirmed as the captain of the Great Britain and Ireland side for the inaugural Hero Cup, taking place in January of next year. 

Fleetwood’s game has been in impressive shape for a while, even if it has proved more difficult for him to convert this consistent excellence into wins. So let’s have a look at his game and which parts of it have propelled him back into the winner’s circle and to No.23 in the world.


Fleetwood’s Off The Tee game has been outstanding at this event in both his victories. In 2019, his OTT Average Shot Quality was a staggering 119 (100 is tour average). This year, it was an impressive 109 with his best OTT performance coming on the final day when he averaged 309 yards in distance and hitt 71% of his fairways, resulting in an Average Shot Quality of 117 for the round.

Round 4 was a brilliant display of Off The Tee play


Fleetwood’s Approach play in his two wins was remarkably similar. In 2019, he averaged a Shot Quality of 110 for the tournament and this year he averaged 109 across the four days. His APP Player Quality is currently slightly lower than it was 12 months ago but there are signs it’s improving. His 176-yard approach shot on the 17th hole during the first round was his best approach shot of the tournament, scoring 190 for Shot Quality.

The approach shot on 17 was his best of the first round


As we highlighted on Instagram late last week, Fleetwood’s play Around The Green is seriously good at the moment and has improved considerably since this time last year. His Player Quality for ARG has risen from 103 to 109. In the final round at the Nedbank, his Average Shot Quality was 132  and included his best shot across his two victories: an outrageous holed bunker shot from 17 yards to a shortsided pin, which scored 199 for Shot Quality.

So close to joining Clippd's 200 Club on the 14th hole!


If there’s one area the 31-year old could improve, it’s his putting. Over the eight rounds played for his two victories in Sun City, his Average Shot Quality has only been above 100 twice. His best performances this year came in the third and the fourth rounds where his Average Shot Quality was 99. The best putt he holed this year came on the 6th hole in the fourth round, resulting in a Shot Quality of 181.

A steady putting display over the final two days helped secure the victory

The two victories at a glance:

Average Shot Quality across the tournament - 2022

OTT - 109

APP - 109

ARG - 116

PUTT - 96

Average Shot Quality across the tournament - 2019

OTT - 119

APP - 110

ARG - 106

PUTT - 98