Westwood ready to open Close House for Tour restart

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Lee Westwood (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Lee Westwood say he’s “ready to welcome everybody” to the Betfred British Masters at Close House for the proposed European Tour restart in July.

Westwood’s home course was the venue where Greystones star, Paul Dunne turned over Rory McIlroy in a titanic battle at the 2017 staging of the event.

The European Tour are expected to officially announce a UK-based schedule this week where the British Masters should resume a run of play through August. It would be the first European Tour event since Jorge Campillo won the Qatar Masters on March 8.

“The course is already in fantastic condition as you’d expect,” said Westwood to Sky Sports.

“They’ve had seven or eight weeks without any play so the green staff have been able to do a lot of good work. I’ve seen a massive change in the condition of the greens over the last couple of weeks since the weather got better.

“It’s an exciting time for getting the course ready and hopefully it will be the start of the European season kicking off.

“I hosted it there in 2017 and is was great, it was an honour and it was really nice to see it at Close House. A lot of great players turned out so obviously that was very good, and we had a great finish and a great winner.

“The crowds turned out and supported it, but I don’t think we’ll be able to have the crowds this time. But hopefully it will be a great tournament and a great finish and a great way to start off the season again. I’m sure everybody is very keen to see some live golf.”

One event never far from the agenda is this September’s Ryder Cup where Westwood has proved himself a hero on more than one occasion. With question marks over the merits of hosting the biennial event without spectators in Wisconsin, Westwood believes organisers should take as much time as possible before coming to a decision.

“I’m glad it’s a decision I don’t have to make,” said Westwood.

“Any time you go to a Ryder Cup, the thing that strikes you most about it is the incredible atmosphere, and obviously the fans create that atmosphere for the players.

“So it’s very hard to picture having nobody there in the galleries and in the stands to celebrate with the players. It’s still a long way away and, as we’ve seen, a lot can happen in a few weeks, and we’ll wait and see what happens.”

 

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