Northern Golfer #73 – May 2019

The season is off to a fast start, at home and overseas, and we’ve got a lot to cover this month…

Let’s start with the fantastic news that the British Masters is returning to Close House and our region in 2020. The event is returning thanks to the record-breaking support it received in 2017, and the work of Close House owner Graham Wylie, the club’s attached professional and tournament host Lee Westwood, and all the team at the club. Read all about the event’s return on pages 24-26.

Two things were weighing on my mind as I wrote the editor’s note for our April edition. The first was how my opening of tee shot of the 2019 season would go. That shot went well, what followed was less good… At the other end of the golfing spectrum, the second point concerned The Masters and whether Tiger Woods could capture a 15th major title. All the signs were there, his statistics showed just how good he was playing, but could he actually win again at Augusta National?

How could we ever doubt him? There is a reason so many of us regard Tiger as the greatest player of all time and he showed how he, more than any other player in the field at Augusta, can win golf tournaments under immense pressure. As some of the game’s biggest names rose and fell on Sunday, Tiger produced a performance for the ages.

While it wasn’t the runaway successes of the 1997 Masters or the US Open in 2000, this was under extreme pressure with a body bearing the scars of multiple surgeries and with more people doubting his abilities than ever before. To see him roar coming off the 18th green and to watch him celebrate with his children is a moment which will come to be as important as the many other iconic images of his career. Can he catch Jack Nicklaus’ 18 major record? I wouldn’t bet against him.

Closer to home, our region’s girls have had a fantastic start to the season in the biggest amateur events while there have been successes for players including Matty Lamb, Cameron Wallace, Andy Scrimshaw and many more in the first few weeks of the season.

This month we’ve also got a Round With our own Tips pro John Harrison, a visit to Hartlepool Golf Club in our Course Profile, a Tour Life update from Chris Paisley, a call for better etiquette in our clubs in this month’s column and plenty more.

The season has only just started, but it’s already shaping up to be another great year.