LEE WESTWOOD, who won his first British Masters in September 2007 at the Belfry, is hosting next month’s tournament at Close House, County Durham.  He commented:  “As it’s now being held in July the weather will hopefully be great. “(don’t count on it.) Shame it’s called the “Betfred” British Masters now, it sounds so common, as my mum would say.

Sir Graham Wylie, co-founder of Sage, invested £25 million in the Close House Estate, nestled in the beautiful Tyne Valley between the  River and Hadrian’s Wall.  The estate, which was once a stud farm,  consists of the 18-hole Filly course, the 9-hole Yearling and The International Colt Course, described as “drop dead gorgeous” with interesting features including a Roman fort.

Westwood, the touring professional at Close House, hosted the British Masters there in 2017, the European Tour’s first visit to the north east for 15 years.  Paul Dunne held off Rory McIlroy with 7 birdies and an eagle for a final round 61.  70,000 fans turned up.  Unfortunately, this year it will be just the players and the trophy.

ON THEIR FINAL HOLE of the first round at RBC Heritage Webb Simpson drove his ball 220 yards into the fairway, while the recently beefed-up Bryson DeChambeau blasted his tee shot 308 yards into a greenside bunker 25 yds from the hole.  Simpson hit a wedge from 115 yards to six feet and holed the birdie putt while DeChambeau splashed out to five feet and missed the putt.  It’s not all about muscle.  The Incredible Hulk couldn’t putt either.

JUSTIN ROSE WON the Farmers Insurance Open in 2019 after signing a multi-equipment deal with Japanese clubmakers Honma, but he recently parted company with them and reverted to using mostly Taylor Made clubs.

Golf Monthly said:  “Justin  tested the new TR20 driver earlier his year, it’s quite fiddly and complicated, maybe it didn’t suit him, which is strange because he was involved in the design.  He had three missed cuts out of four events so clearly something was wrong for a player who is normally so consistent.”

THE ROSE SERIES of eight Ladies tournaments got off to a great start on 18th June at Brokenhurst Manor Golf Cub, Hants.  Winner Charley Hull was unsure how to acknowledge her opponent, should they knock elbows, knock knees?  They decided to knock putters.

Justin Rose, who together with his wife is sponsoring the tournaments, holds the course record having gone round in 63 aged just 13.

Good job it was dry last week at soggy Brok, we often needed wellies on the 4th hole.  The tournaments,which are helping the grateful lady pro golfers keep up to scratch during lockdown, will culminate in a grand final at Wentworth on 7th August.

Justin must be feeling frisky, he has now split with both his clubmaker and his swing coach Sean Foley.  Things usually go in threes, his wife should maybe keep an eye on him!

WHEN WORKING, most caddies are paid around £1,000 a week plus 10% of the boss’s winnings bonus (unless he happens to be Matt Kuchar.) They don’t all have the luck of Gary Player ‘s caddie Eddie McCoy. After winning the 1978 Masters Player bought Eddie a house.

AFTER RORY McILROY’S caddie Harry Diamond flew out to Florida for the PGA Tour restart Rory said:  “The only tough thing is he has to quarantine, but we have a guest house he can stay in.”   Two weeks in Rory McIlroy’s guest house in Florida?  It doesn’t get any tougher.

CADDIES DON’T ALWAYS receive bouquets, but  Mick Donaghy was praised for keeping the often tempestuous Tyrrell Hatton steady when he won at Bay Hill just before the shutdown.  A blunt Scotsman, who picked up 10% of the winner’s cheque  (around £135,000) he says he “doesn’t put up with any of Hatton’s nonsense.”  Donaghy contributed tactical decisions on crucial shots, as on the final hole at Bay Hill:  “It’s the right club, now f …ing hit it.”

Until next time: Happy Golfing.

Contact Mick for regripping and repairs. 638 859 475.

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