TOMMY Fleetwood returned to European Tour action at the weekend.

In the closing month of the Race to Dubai order of merit, the 28-year-old Holmes Chapel resident lies seventh following his performance in the WGC-HSBC Champions event at Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai, China, at the weekend.

It was his first European Tour event since his fifth-place finish in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on the weekend of September 29 but he was well down the pecking order on this occasion.

Fleetwood came home tied 53rd, two over par, with Sergio Garcia, Justin Harding and Tony Finau.

His last round 67 was his best and more in keeping with what was needed consistently to win the event.

With previous rounds of 74, 76 and 73 he ended on 290, 21 adrift of winner Rory McIlroy who was 19 under par with 67, 67, 67 and 68.

The result saw McIlory shoot up the rankings to fifth, while Fleetwood dropped one place.

The current top four sees Bernd Wiesberger ahead of Jon Rahm, Shane Lowry and Matthew Fitzpatrick.

Three events remain, though Fleetwood was not slated to appear in this weekend’s Turkish Airlines Open in Antalya at the time of writing.

His best performance on the tour this year so far was his second place in the 148th Open Championship in July.

In an October that saw him present the prizes at Knutsford Golf Club junior presentation night he was also busy on the PGA Tour.

Southport-born Fleetwood was a part of history as the first ever PGA Tour event took place in Japan.

He started out the Zozo Championship at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club alongside Tiger Woods but by the end of the four days they had plenty of distance between them.

Woods’ victory equalled the record of 82 PGA Tour wins, while Fleetwood reached the clubhouse tied 22nd – two places below his finish in the previous week’s CJCup @Nine Bridges staged on Jeju Isand in South Korea.

Fleetwood, who turned professional in 2010 and enjoyed a breakthrough European Tour victory in the 2013 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, has a current world golf ranking of 18th.

A highlight of his career so far came in November, 2017, when he topped the Race to Dubai rankings for the first time.

He made a memorable Ryder Cup debut at Le Golf National in Paris in 2018, winning four points out of four alongside his friend Francesco Molinari en route to a memorable victory for Team Europe.

Mike Parsons