Charles Schwab Challenge

Colonial Country Club

Restoring Order

Players 2022: Even Tommy Fleetwood's wife wants his beard to grow back ASAP


Kevin C. Cox

PONTE VEDRA BEACH — Tommy Fleetwood was pissed off, though he didn't cite a particular reason. Whatever it was, it made him mad enough to make a major change in his appearance.

"I was in a really bad mood," said Fleetwood when asked why he recently shaved his beard, ditching the English Jesus look. "It was like break some golf clubs or shave my beard, then I went for the beard."

It was said tongue-in-cheek, but it was also partly serious. Fleetwood's game, of late, had been a mess, and he certainly isn't the first athlete to change up the mojo. Baseball players, who are notoriously superstitious, let their beards grow throughout the postseason. Sometimes, some players shave mid-game when they're slumping.

For Fleetwood, it was less about the way he was playing and more about the extenuating circumstances at the time.

"It was kind of in a mess, and I was going to shave it. Then I was sort of in a bad enough mood where I couldn't be bothered putting the clipper on, like on number nine, so I just took it. It will grow back."

It already is growing back at the Players Championship, where Fleetwood's game is coming back, too. A Thursday 66 gave him a share of the lead heading into Friday, when the first round will (hopefully) be completed at some point. By the time Fleetwood tees off in Round 2, the beard might approaching Leonardo Dicaprio in "The Revenant" territory.

That's good news for Fleetwood fans, who were shocked to see the two-time Ryder Cupper's bare face for the first time a week ago at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. It's even better news for Fleetwood's wife, Clare.

"She definitely has a preference, and it's not this one." Same, Mrs. Fleetwood. Same.

That said, there were some pros to breaking out the razor for Fleetwood. Namely among them: looking young.

"Definitely my favorite comment, it was my 31st birthday in Abu Dhabi this year, and I was playing with Viktor Hovland, and obviously we're very close, and he was like … in fact, I was playing with him and Collin [Morikawa], and both of them were looking at me like, we had to Google your age. I thought you were 37, 38. That's a pretty harsh comment, to be fair.

"When I shaved it off, I think it took about 15 years off me. Everyone kind of noticed that I look a lot younger without the beard. That's a positive. Clare definitely prefers me with a beard, so I'll definitely grow it back. As long as I can keep my temper and keep smiling, then I won't have to shave it off again."

Safe to say Clare, like the rest of us, is rooting for Fleetwood to win this week.