For once, a pro golfer got to call a penalty on tournament officials, rather than the other way around.
British golfer Tommy Fleetwood continued what has been a strong 2018 season with a 12th place finish at The Open Championship at Carnoustie last month. That 3-under finish earned him a $154,500 prize, but something clearly went wrong with the delivery.
Fleetwood’s payout was reportedly deposited into the Wells Fargo bank account of a man with the same name, according to a screencap tweeted by golf school owner Greg Thorner, apparently a friend of the other Fleetwood. The curious situation was confirmed by Golf Digest, who reached out to the pro Fleetwood’s wife and was told there had been a “huge clerical error by the European tour accounts department.”
No joke, a friend received Tommy Fleetwood's Open Championship winnings in his bank account last weekend!! They have the same name and he was a PGA pro but still, how does this happen? Didn't believe him until I saw it…good thing he is an honest guy! pic.twitter.com/bE534xfYDV
— #Break30 Golf Short Game School (@GregThornerGolf) August 8, 2018
Before all the people out there with names like Justin Thomas or Dustin Johnson start to fantasize what they would do if a similar error was made to their benefit, it is very much worth noting that the error seems to have happened because the other Fleetwood participated in some European Tour events a while ago and is now a golf pro in Florida, according to The Guardian. That would explain why the accounts department had his bank account information.
It sounds like there was quite the scene when Fleetwood opened his account, as described by Thorner to The Guardian:
The pair had been together when Fleetwood realised his supposed windfall. Thorner said: “He called it up [on his phone] and looked at his statement, and that’s when he shouted ‘Holy smoke, I’ve just had $154,000 paid into my account.’
“He got on to his bank immediately and they didn’t know what to say. That’s when I realized that it must be for the other Tommy Fleetwood and I quickly worked out that it was his Open winnings.”
The elder Fleetwood is now reportedly in the process of returning the money to the World No. 11 Fleetwood, but at least he can now probably say he’s received more money as a pro than any of his colleagues.
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