The British Masters returns to the North East for the first time in 45 years with some of the world’s best joining Lee Westwood at Close House.
As well as the four days of tournament action, the week will also include a pro am with celebrities from sport, music and television taking part as well as the late-night Hero Challenge on the par three 18th, which proved a big hit with players and fans when it debuted last year at The Grove.
The week will also include the Junior Masters at Close House with players from across the region having qualified through seven junior opens this summer, as well as clinics with the top payers following each day’s play.
One of the most important professional tournaments on the European Tour’s calendar, the British Masters has been won by many of the game’s greatest players. Former Open champion Bob Charles claimed the first title in 1972 at Northumberland Golf Club, beating a young Greg Norman to the first prize. Tony Jacklin was victorious in 1973, followed by Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher, who won back-to-back events in 1974 and 1975.
Champions in the 1980s included legends Ian Woosnam, Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle, Severiano Ballesteros and Sir Nick Faldo, while more Ryder Cup captains would be successful during the 90s with Mark James, Colin Montgomerie and Sam Torrance all lifting the famous trophy.
Notable winners after the millennium include this year’s host Lee Westwood – who lifted the trophy in 2007 at the Belfry. Meanwhile, two of the European Tour’s brightest stars – Matthew Fitzpatrick and Alex Noren – have added their names to the trophy since it returned to the European Tour schedule in 2015.
And as well as current Masters champion Sergio Garcia, two previous holders of the Green jacket, Danny Willett and Martin Kaymer have confirmed. A strong field indeed.