Local golfers set to tee it up alongside world stars as Close House hosts International Series England

Golfers from the North East will take on some of the biggest names in the sport when The International Series takes place at Close House.

Players from LIV Golf and the Asian Tour will tee it up alongside local qualifiers August 17-20, with a prize fund of $2million up for grabs. The field includes former world number one and Close House attached professional Lee Westwood as well as 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed, and US Open winner Graeme McDowell.

Adding to the draw for spectators will be the presence of talented local players such as James Wilson – who has particularly close ties to Close House having been spotted as a youngster by the club’s managing director Jonathan Lupton.

Speaking about the importance of having local golfers involved in the event, Jonathan said: “We are delighted to welcome the International Series to Close House, with some of the biggest names in golf present. However, we’re also excited to highlight the local talent that we produce in the North East and give them a platform to compete in such a prestigious event.

“I have personal connections with several players and know how hard they have worked to get to this point. We hope that the community will come out and support the local players put on a great display of golf.”

Jonathan has played a big part in the development of local juniors, with the PGA professional having run primary school taster sessions to help get more children into the game. The sessions, held at Walbottle Academy, are still going strong and have helped to bring through several successful players.

In 2010, Jonathan spotted a young James, who he could see had tremendous potential. Jonathan took him under his wing, with James thriving at Close House over the next 10 years, becoming a very talented golfer before starting his PGA training at Tyneside Golf Club. James – a regular winner on the North East & North West PGA circuit – shot a two under-par 70 in The International Series qualifier to claim a spot in this month’s event.

Other notable local golfers that will feature in the tournament include Slaley Hall’s Rhys Thompson – cover star of the latest edition of Northern Golfer. He shot a bogey-free 68 in the qualifier to take one of the six spots available – adding that success to his back-to-back-to-back wins on the Tartan Pro Tour this season. Additionally, former World Boys’ champion and Challenge Tour winner Simon Robinson will make an appearance in the event after receiving a tournament invite. He will join former Durham champion Will Marshall, another of the six qualifiers, in the field.

Tickets to the event are available to purchase from SeeTickets, with prices starting at £10 for adults and free for U16s when entering with a paying adult. Spectators are welcome to watch the pro am on August 16 as well as the official tournament days. They can also enjoy the fan village and hospitality tents throughout the week. For more information visit closehouse.com/pr/international-series-england-official-venue-2023