A look ahead to the British Masters – part of the European PGA Tour

Rory McIlroy

Excitement is mounting about the imminent start of the British Masters being held at Northumberland’s Close House Golf Club from Thursday 28th September through to Sunday 1st October.

It’s the 40th event in the 2017 European PGA Tour that teed off in Australia in December 2016 and promises to be an exciting occasion which will attract tens of thousands of golf fans to the North East. It’s the first time for 45 years that this leg of the tour has been held in this part of the country where no less than 140 players, including some of the biggest names in the game, will be competing for a share in the £3 million prize fund with £500,000 for the overall winner.

A little history

The Masters has included some very notable milestones in its 71 year history including the first ever televised hole in one – a feat achieved by the legendary Tony Jacklin on the 16th hole at Sandwich in 1967. Over the years some of the big name winners have included Ian Woosnam, Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle, Seve Ballesteros, Sir Nick Faldo, Sam Torrance and, in 2007, Lee Westwood.

As the touring professional attached to Close House, Westwood will be hosting this year’s tournament as well as taking part. Also confirmed to be playing will be Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter, Russell Knox and Shane Lowry.

An action-packed week

While the main tournament takes place from Thursday to Sunday there are also a couple of other events taking place at Close House over the week to add to the carnival atmosphere. The first is the Hero Challenge, a fun event introduced last year. Eight players, including Sergio Garcia, will compete in head to head one hole matches on a specially designed par 3 hole at the course. Each game is a knock-out round until just one golfer emerges victorious and, to make it even more exciting, it’s all played out under floodlights in front of a large crowd of golf fans.

Also, on the day before the main event begins there’s a pro-am tournament with celebrity partners including Jeremy Kyle, Robbie Fowler, AP McCoy and Ruby Walsh who are also sure to attract big crowds.

McIlroy’s last stand?

As to who will win the Masters itself, surely Rory McIlroy will be hoping to hit a high point in what’s been a disappointing season for him, especially as it represents one of the last few opportunities that he’ll have this year. But competition’s sure to be tough so it certainly won’t be an easy ride for him.

For anyone who wants to get involved in the action but who can’t get there the tournament’s going to be televised on Sky Sports. There’s even an online slots game which uses the tour as its theme – just one example of the many different ideas that these popular games use to attract different audiences, slot games are always fun, no matter what the subject topic is also it leaves you with the opportunity to expand your bank roll.

So get ready to enjoy the penultimate UK golfing event for the year –  there’s the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship starting on October 8th – and if you also have a game on the online slot you may even pick up some prize money for yourself too.