The European Tour will return to the North East next year with Lee Westwood set to host the British Masters at Close House for a second time from July 30-August 2, 2020.
Following the record-breaking success of the event’s first visit to the Colt Course in 2017, which featured Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter and Danny Willett, the European Tour will return to Newcastle next summer.
Lee, who will host his European Tour colleagues at his home club, said: “I’m delighted to see the British Masters coming back to Close House, and back to the North East.
“I really enjoyed hosting the event in 2017, it was a busy week but it was a lot of fun on and off the golf course. The support we had throughout the event was brilliant and I’m looking forward to doing it all again. We’ve got a great date, right in the heart of the summer, and we should have another very strong field. I’m sure the North East crowds will be out in force again to see some of the best players in the world on their patch.”
The feedback from the players, on the host venue and the crowds in 2017, was incredibly positive, and Lee is looking forward to playing on home turf again.
“All the players loved being in the North East and getting the chance to experience Newcastle. Everyone felt very welcome and I’m sure we’ll see a lot of the guys back at Close House next summer.”
The 2017 British Masters was the European Tour’s first visit to the North East in 15 years and saw a record-breaking 62,298 people attend the event over the week.
Irishman Paul Dunne held off a weekend charge by Rory McIlroy to lift the trophy, his final round 61 including a memorable chip in on the final hole to secure a three-shot win.
Close House owner Graham Wylie was a key figure in bringing the event to the region in 2017 and has worked with tour since then to secure its return.
“The European Tour’s return to the North East and to Close House is a great testament to the passion of the tens of thousands of fans that showed such tremendous support in 2017,” said Graham.
“The tour has been looking for the right time to come back to Close House and I think we have a perfect spot in the diary for next season. Hopefully we’ll get great weather and even bigger crowds than last time.
“We have proved the Colt Course is capable of producing an exciting event and that it provides a stunning platform for the best players in the world. I can’t thank Lee enough for his work, along with all the team at Close House; we’re all looking forward to welcoming the players and fans back in 2020.”
Close House managing director Jonathan Lupton added: “To have the seal of approval from the tour to host the event again is a great feeling. Graham and Lee’s passion to see this event back in the North East has been incredible and their drive, along with the tour’s belief that the North East should have a tournament like this, has brought the British Masters back to Close House. I’m sure 2020 will be another memorable sporting occasion for the region.”
As well as the four tournament days, the 2017 event included the Hero Challenge on Tuesday night, the final of the first Junior Masters – which has continued after the event and will take place again in 2020 – as well as a celebrity pro am on Wednesday. The event also raised more than £472,500 for its official charity, The Graham Wylie Foundation.
Further details for the 2020 British Masters will be confirmed in the coming months, and we’ll have further updates as we build up to the event.
The 2017 British Masters in numbers
-20: Paul Dunne’s winning score
6th: The highest ranked player in the field – Rory McIlroy
61: The lowest round of the tournament, shot by Paul Dunne on Sunday
£472,500: Raised for the tournament’s official charity – The Graham Wylie Foundation
62,298: The total attendance figure for the six days of the event
6: Major champions in the field, including reigning Masters champion Sergio Garcia