Tommy Fleetwood and Paul Casey loving Olympic village life

The two Englishman can’t get enough of bumping into fellow athletes and medal winners.

The first steps of Tommy Fleetwood's journey to Tokyo did rather resemble a summer holiday adventure, but everything thereafter has been pure make believe.

Ahead of Thursday's first round the down-to-earth Englishman was full of excitement about his Olympic Quest.

"From the moment I put the shirt on in my garage at home," he said. "To getting on the flight, to being around the village, surrounded by all the athletes who put so much into this, it's inspirational. A very, very special experience.

"I was so, so happy when I made it to the team and so far I've loved every minute. It's really, really cool.

"There are so many things that happen on a daily basis that either inspires you, makes you happy, or makes you proud.

"I love the attitude of everybody here. I love sport. I love how much is going on. We were lucky enough to meet Matty Lee, who'd won a gold, and Lauren Williams, she'd won a silver.

"You're watching those guys, talking about it to them, their emotion, how they feel. It makes you feel really, really good."

Team-mate for the week Paul Casey was no less thrilled by his experiences.

"I was a massive fan of the Olympics as a kid growing up, loved watching it during the summer holidays," he said.

"Never thought I would be sitting here as an athlete in the Olympic Games until golf's re-entry in Rio and then we all saw Justin Rose's brilliant performance.

"We've got a lot to try and live up to that. We're defending gold, technically, Team GB and I couldn't be more proud. I feel invigorated. So much passion and pride to be wearing this shirt. I couldn't think of anything greater than winning a gold medal as a golfer."

It's been a stuttering year for Fleetwood who hasn't made a top 10 since March, but Casey has had one of the best campaigns of his career.

In 15 starts he's landed 13 top 30 finishes, eight of them top 10s including victory in the Dubai Desert Classic.

Perhaps more importantly, he's thrived at the big occasions. He was fifth at THE PLAYERS Championship, fourth in the PGA Championship and seventh in the US Open.

He has a great chance this week and even said, shortly after qualifying for Team GB: "The older I get, the better things seem to get. The Open, the Olympics and the Ryder Cup. I've got a great opportunity here to have a summer which could define my career."

Here's what else Fleetwood and Casey had to say on Tuesday.

More on Olympic village life

Fleetwood: "It's funny because, when somebody talks to you and they ask something about golf, I'm like, you know, I didn't expect that. We're kind of in awe of all the other athletes and respect what they do so much and kind of supporting them the whole way. One of the things I've enjoyed most is just rattling off conversations about what they're doing and how they're feeling. Then you see how other sports train and they're asking you questions. They love their sport and they love other sports, and everybody just shows massive support for each other."

Casey: "We were lucky. We shared a plane with the track cyclists and marathon runners. My caddie was the most excited person on the plane by far because Johnny Long Socks is a massive cycling fan. He was probably frustrating them. Shared a bus yesterday with our women's hockey team, got the full rundown, now I'm an absolute expert. Did they beat India? Yeah? Good. Tommy and I, we spend a lot of time asking questions."

Fleetwood: "We don't let them get a word in basically, so they don't get to ask us anything."

Casey: "To us it's the dynamics of how certain teams operate, the energy levels, the amount of chat. The boxers in our camp are pretty funny. The BMX lads are always out on the bikes, around the village. Strong as well. What was that kid? 19?"

Fleetwood: "19."

Casey: "He's something like 250 kilograms. Just ripping it. Madness. It's amazing. It's so cool to be in that environment. Just amazing to be surrounded by the world's best athletes."

Casey on qualifying

"Watching the guys who were in Rio and what it meant to them, especially Justin, I mean, he pulled that gold medal out of the bag every five minutes, didn't he? Brilliant. I was nervous at Torrey Pines in the US Open. I thought I had missed the cut. I was angry and upset. Then realized I made it and honestly I went out in that final round at US Open only thinking about qualifying for this. My priority has now shifted from 'I just want to be an Olympian' to taking it incredibly serious and trying to win a medal."

Olympic memories

Casey: "As a kid, there's so many memories. I went to a school where rowing was big and the Searle brothers were a couple of years ahead of me. That was the first time I can say I knew an Olympian, which was something absolutely amazing. Also on the rowing front, great moments with Sir Steve Redgrave. Athletics was always a big one for me. One of my heroes was Daley Thompson. Even in the Winter Olympics, Eddie the Eagle. There's no shortage of great memories."

Fleetwood: "I think the Olympics has just always brought out, I spoke about it a few times this week, sitting on the couch watching the sport, having no idea what the rules are, I have no idea how you score, and I'm like really nervous, I'm like jumping out of my seat, supporting whoever is in that event for Great Britain. And just seeing so many people stood on the podium, achieving a dream."

READ MORE: Xander Schauffele and Collin Morikawa utilising Japanese heritage on their Olympic quest

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