Lee Westwood brings 7 major winners to British Masters - with a little help

Butch Dill/USA TODAY Sports

Lee Westwood brings 7 major winners to British Masters - with a little help

Euro Tour

Lee Westwood brings 7 major winners to British Masters - with a little help

HEDDON ON THE WALL, England – A little alcohol always helps people get together to play golf.

It’s helped Lee Westwood attract a world class field to this week’s $4 million British Masters.

After several weeks of average strength fields, this week’s European Tour event features Sergio Garcia, Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, defending champion Alex Noren, Shane Lowry, Russell Knox, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Danny Willett, Chris Wood, Jose Maria Olazabal, Paul Lawrie, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn.

That bunch includes seven major winners.

Westwood follows Ian Poulter and Luke Donald as tournament host, with Justin Rose set to perform the same role for next year’s British Masters. However, Poulter and Donald’s fields come nowhere near the strength of this year’s assembled gathering. Rose has a lot to live up to next year when he is expected to take the championship to Walton Heath.

“I just got them all drunk and asked them when they were drunk!” Westwood joked when questioned on how he persuaded so many good players to come to the North East of England.

Alcohol was involved in Rory’s case, although Garcia didn’t need much persuading.

“I asked Sergio over a year ago and he said yes, he was delighted to,” Westwood said. “Obviously, I’ve got on with Sergio well for many years and played with him in the Ryder Cup.

“I asked Rory at Sergio’s wedding, when we had a couple glasses of wine, and he said if he didn’t get to The Tour Championship… he would think seriously about playing here?

“Obviously he didn’t get to The Tour Championship, and he committed pretty much straightaway after that.

“It’s great he put this tournament in (his schedule) and great he’s turning out. He’s one of the few players in the world that I would turn out at a golf tournament to watch.

“All these people supporting the event is obviously brilliant. It’s one of the strongest fields we’ve had all year on Tour.”
Alcohol aside, the 44-year-old says European Tour longevity has helped.

“I’ve been around a long time. I obviously know a lot of people. Played with a lot of people over those 24 years. It’s brilliant they have turned out.”

Westwood, like Poulter and Donald before him, has discovered there’s more to hosting a tournament than just adding his name to the event. “It’s given me a great appreciation for what everybody does at other tournaments,” he admitted. However, he’s not here just to hand out the trophy at the end of the week.

The Englishman has two top 10s in his last three starts, including third in the KLM Open, his most recent event. He has an advantage this week since he’s attached to Close House as the club’s tournament professional.

“My game is definitely trending in the right direction. I feel like maybe a win is just around the corner. It would be great if it was here this week.”

Rest assured, alcohol will be consumed if Westwood wins this week to record his 24th European Tour victory.

Latest

More Golfweek
Home