If you have a common name like I do, chances are every time someone says your name, you, and three other people in the room, turn their heads to look. It’s common to make a mistake when you share a name with someone else.
What isn’t common, though, is accidentally wiring $154,480 in Open Championship winnings to the wrong person. That’s exactly what happened when the wrong Tommy Fleetwood opened his bank account to see he had a fat direct deposit land in his lap.
Now, this isn’t Tommy Fleetwood, the 11th ranked golfer in the world and flow-god of the PGA Tour, who finished tied for 12th at The Open Championship at Carnoustie a few weekends ago.
In fact, Thomas Fleetwood, 58, is a PGA teaching pro and a caddie at Streamsong Resort hailing from Clermont, Florida. It’s crazy that of all the Tom Fleetwoods in the world, that the British Open winnings happened to drop into another golfer’s account.
Tommy’s wife and manager, Clare, said that a “clerical error” led to the case of mistaken identity and the prize money ending up in the wrong hands.
Neither Tommy, nor Clare, knew about the mistake until PGA professional and friend Greg Thorner posted this photo of the mistake to Twitter.
While he isn’t a professional anymore, Thomas Fleetwood had played on the European Tour’s Lyon Open in France back in 1989, which is how the PGA has two Tom Fleetwoods, and two different bank accounts, in their system.
A few days ago, Thomas received a letter in the mail instructing him the tour had made a mistake, and requested he return the hefty sum of British Open prize money.
“It just said, ‘Wrong deposit, please send it back. Here’s the information to send it back,’” Thomas said. “I emailed them back and I said, ‘Well, I plan on sending it back, but you’ve got to excuse me that I’m not going to send it to this thing you’re sending me randomly in email. But it will be sent back.”
After an extensive hunt on social media, Thomas was finally able to get in touch with Tommy’s team to properly return the money. As it turns out, Tommy didn’t even know the mistake was made.
Thomas Fleetwood laughed how he’s now “poor again,” but made sure to get a kick out of this ridiculous mistake.
“It’d be nicer if he had won The Open,” Thomas said. “I’d like to see $1.7 million in my bank account.”
We’d all like to wake up to $1.7 million in our bank account.
Hopefully you’d be as kind as Thomas and return the funds without getting yourself something nice first.