Caddie Network

Caddie of the Week: Tommy Fleetwood and his “best mate”, Ian Finnis

ian finnis

The shot was a tight-draw from 197 yards into Shinnecock’s dicey 18th hole. A birdie here and Fleetwood would shoot 62, overhauling Johnny Miller for the lowest final round in U.S. Open history. With eventual winner Brooks Koepka playing a few groups behind, it’d also give him the clubhouse lead — and maybe even the trophy.

Fleetwood was serene watching ball curve towards the hole as he approached his 72nd hole with history in his sites. It wasn’t his voice that eventually cut the tense silence picked up by FOX Sports’ on-camera microphones, but that of his caddie, Ian Finnis. Finnis marched forward with purpose and passion towards the shot as it was in mid-air, his voice filled with purpose and passion.

“Come on!” he barked. “Get there!”

Golf fans love a good comeback story, and there’s not many better right now that Fleetwood’s.

Less than two years ago Fleetwood had plummeted from inside the top 50 of the OWGR down to 188th. Low on confidence and suffering from a bout with the “driver yips,” Fleetwood says he felt “lost,” and his game was a mess. He needed to make some changes, so he asked his “best mate” Finnis, who had caddied for Fleetwood earlier in his career, back to his team. It was a career-defining decision.

Today, Fleetwood is assured at the top echelon of the game. He sits inside the Top 10 of the OWGR and is a lock for the 2018 European Ryder Cup team. Speaking about his revival at the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay in 2017 en-route to his first top five finish in a major, Fleetwood gave a heartfelt tribute to the work of his friend and caddie:

“It can’t be underestimated having your friend with you, whether you’re in leading the U.S. Open or whatever else,” Fleetwood said of , Finnis. “No matter what, that’s something when you’re always going to walk up the 18th green with your best mate.”

A year later, that’s exactly what they were doing. They were back at the U.S. Open, walking up to the 18th green as best mates. Except this time, they had the trophy within their grasp.

Golf fans love a good comeback story, and there’s not many better right now that Fleetwood’s.

Earlier that morning Fleetwood had texted Finnis a simple message: “I’m going to break Johnny Miller’s record today.”

And he almost did. He was so close. It just wasn’t to be. Fleetwood’s outstanding approach ended just eight feet from the pin, but his putt ran out of gas and turned away from the hole in the dying moments.

Fleetwood and Finnis have climbed back into golf’s elite, and whether they’re botching a high-five together or lining up a putt for U.S. Open history, they’re doing it together, with a smile on their faces. Friends to the end.

And according to Finnis, there’s more to come.

“He’ll have multiple chances to win majors because he’s got a pair of bollocks,” Finnis told Golfweek on Sunday. “He’s always believed he has what it takes, but he’s actually doing it now.”

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