British Masters to be held in the North East next year

The host, Lee Westwood, at Close House.
The host, Lee Westwood, at Close House.
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Lee Westwood is to host the 2017 British Masters at Close House in Newcastle.

The venue will stage a European Tour event for the first time, with Westwood having been the club's tour professional since 2011.

Westwood succeeds Luke Donald, who hosted this year's tournament at The Grove last week and finished third.

Westwood said: "I'm delighted to announce that I will be taking over as host of the BritishMasters from Luke next year. I'm well connected with Close House, and I'm sure it will be a fantastic test of golf for the players coming up to the North East.

“I was at the golf course the other day and you could probably hold the tournament there now. It’s always in fantastic condition, so I’m sure the players will enjoy it."

The tournament returned to the European Tour schedule in 2015, with Ian Poulter the first to play the role of host at Woburn.

The British Masters will come to the North East next autumn and will see the European Tour’s biggest and brightest stars descend upon Close House to compete for the 2017 title.

Founded in 1946, the British Masters has brought together tour stars from across the world to vie for the trophy, with past winners including gold Olympic medallist Justin Rose, past world number one Nick Faldo, and the host himself.

What was once a part of Newcastle University, Close House and the affiliated golf course was revived in 2004 after local entrepreneur Graham Wylie invested in the future of his home town.

Mr Wylie said: “We are very excited to have the British Masters next year. The North East loves its sport, but we don’t get that many events so when we do, people support them in tremendous fashion.

“To have the British Masters next year will be fantastic not just for Close House, but for the whole region. We are grateful that Sky Sports are supporting the event and Lee Westwood is a great ambassador for the sport and he is our Close House Tour Professional, so we are delighted he has chosen Close House to host the British Masters and we will put on a great event for him."