Francesco Molinari '˜deserves' to succeed Ryder Cup partner Tommy Fleetwood

Tommy Fleetwood insists he will be happy if Ryder Cup partner Francesco Molinari succeeds him as European No 1.

'MOLIWOOD': Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood, left, celebrate victory on day two of the Ryder Cup in Paris. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA

Fleetwood is second in the Race to Dubai behind Open champion Molinari, with whom he created history by becoming the first European pair to win all four of their matches together in a Ryder Cup at Le Golf National.

The duo will be reunited in the first two rounds of this week’s British Masters at Walton Heath, with team-mate Thorbjorn Olesen completing the marquee group, as Fleetwood seeks to close the gap of 1.4million points to his ‘Moliwood’ partner.

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Fleetwood, who will play in China and Turkey before contesting the season-ending event in Dubai, said: “I’m a long way behind, but it’s the opposite of last year in that I led all year last year and this year for the final few events I’m kind of chasing it now.

“I might get nowhere near and it’s a stretch as a goal to think about it, but I’d love to play Dubai with a chance. I’d love to get in contention in a couple of events and maybe win one.

“If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. It’s kind of in Fran’s hands a little bit, as well. There’s probably people I would prefer to beat, but if it was me and Fran that it came down to either way I’m going to be more than happy, whichever way that would turn on.

“I think we won’t hold it against him. With the year he’s having, I think he might deserve it.”

Fleetwood went straight from the Ryder Cup to last week’s Dunhill Links Championship and finished runner-up at St Andrews in what was his 24th tournament of a busy season. And, although the 27-year-old enjoys playing such a full schedule, he admits it is beginning to take its toll.

“At the moment I feel absolutely fine, but like I’m getting close to that point where I need a week off again,” he said.