Former British Masters Venue Close House To Host Asian Tour Event
The 2017 and 2020 host of the DP World Tour event will stage an International Series tournament in August
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The Asian Tour’s International Series will return to England for its fifth event of 2023 at Newcastle's Close House.
In 2022, another course in the area, Slaley Hall, hosted an International Series tournament – the first time an Asian Tour event had taken place in the country. This year, the venue for the 2017 and 2020 British Masters gets the nod for the tournament, which will take place between 17 and 20 August.
As well as the venue’s recent history of hosting the high-profile DP World Tour event, it also has a strong association with LIV Golf player Lee Westwood, who opened its Colt Course in 2011 and helped improve the features of its two courses by adding new tees and bunkers. It is at the Colt Course where the tournament will take place, and Close House Managing Director, Jonathan Lupton was delighted with the news.
He said: “Welcoming The International Series back to Northumberland for a second consecutive year is an exciting development. Having had the pleasure to visit the International Series Oman in February, it was fantastic to see the growth of the Series over the last year and we’re looking forward to working closely with the Asian Tour to create a memorable event in England.”
Close House owner Sir Graham Wylie was equally enthusiastic about the announcement. He said: “I am sure that the players will relish the challenge of the Lee Westwood Colt Course along with enjoying a very warm welcome from the members and guests. The people of the North-East are extremely passionate about sport and to host another world-class event in the region is a huge honour.”
Meanwhile, Commissioner and CEO of the Asian Tour Cho Minn Thant cited the success of last year’s tournament in the area and ties with Westwood as reasons why it is the ideal venue. He said: “The Asian Tour is excited to be returning to Newcastle for the International Series England. We enjoyed a very successful event there last June, which marked the Tour’s first trip to the United Kingdom.
"To be able to stage the tournament this year at Close House, a fantastic venue that has such strong ties with Lee Westwood – a nine-time winner on the Asian Tour – adds an exciting new dimension to the tournament and provides another great opportunity for our membership.”
The International Series was launched last year following a $300m investment from LIV Golf over ten years. Aside from the $2m purse for the tournament, many in the field will have an added incentive to perform well as the International Series Order or Merit winner will earn a place with the lucrative LIV Golf League next year. Former LIV Golf player Andy Ogletree, who won the International Series Qatar last month, is the current Order of Merit leader.
Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories.
He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game.
Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course.
Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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