Westwood banks on local support

Former world number ones Lee Westwood and Luke Donald hope a large crowd can inspire them to victory when the British Masters returns to the European Tour in October after a four year hiatus.

Westwood has performed well in most of his appearances at the tournament; claiming top ten finishes in 1999 and 2001, taking the title in 2007 and finishing as runner-up the last time it was played in 2008.

“It is always great to play in England and I’m delighted that we have finally got the British Masters back on the European Tour schedule,” Westwood told the European Tour website.

“Woburn has always been one of my favourite courses and I’ve got a good record round there, so hopefully I can do well again.

“It looks like it is going to be a very good field supporting the event on its return and I’m sure the British public will support it too, so it should be a great occasion.”

Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño was the last man to win the title when he bested Westwood at The Belfry in 2008.

Donald will head to the event seeking to claim his third ever European Tour title on British soil. The 37-year-old, previously won the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club in 2011 and 2012 and the 2011 Scottish Open at Castle Stuart Golf Links.

Donald said the decision to name Ian Poulter as host of the Woburn Golf Club event would ensure the tournament’s popularity.

“I think most of the British players on Tour have been hoping to get more big events at home for a number of years, so to have the British Masters back on our schedule is really positive news and it’s a tournament that I will be very proud to be associated with,” he said.

“It’s going to tick a lot of boxes; we are playing at one of the great courses in England at Woburn, we have a strong prize fund and we have the support of Sky Sports, so it’s shaping up to be a really good week.

“I think having the top British players involved as tournament hosts is a cool idea as well. We are seeing more of that on The European Tour with Rory in Ireland and Paul Lawrie with his own match play event in Scotland, and it seems to be working really well.”

Donald’s put in a solid performance the last time he competed in Britain; finishing tied for 12th at the Open Championship at St Andrews in July.