Open winnings paid to wrong Tommy Fleetwood

A golf coach in the US got a pleasant surprise last week when pro-golfer Tommy Fleetwood’s $154,480 prize money for finishing 12th in the Open was paid into his bank account.

Thomas Fleetwood, a teaching professional in Florida, received the payment into his bank account earlier this week after an error by the European Tour, the organisation in charge of doling out the prize money.

The mistake came to light after a friend of the wrong Fleetwood posted about it on social media.

Screen shots from the Twitter account of Greg Thorner showed the six-figure sum alongside other mundane items such as shopping bills.

“He got on to his bank immediately and they didn’t know what to say,” said Thorner. “That’s when I realised that it must be for the other Tommy Fleetwood and I quickly worked out that it was his Open winnings.

“I think what happened was that he played some Challenge Tour events on the European Tour back in the day and they must still have his details on file. At least he can always say he won $150,000 at the Open.”

Thorner was with the recipient when he discovered the errant payment.

“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.’

The real Fleetwood, currently ranked at No 11, saw the funny side of the incident.

“I honestly didn’t know anything about it,” Fleetwood said. “I wouldn’t even know if I’d been paid or not because I don’t really look. It looks pretty genuine and they are looking into it and I’m sure they’ll feel pretty bad about it. It’s a funny story.”

Responding to news of the error, the European Tour said: “This was a clerical error which we are resolving and we apologise for the inconvenience caused to both parties.”