Future of British Masters under threat

British Masters

The future of the British Masters is under threat with no sponsor for the European Tour event currently lined up for 2019 and beyond.

The tournament returned to the European Tour schedule in 2015 after a seven-year absence with the backing of Sky Sports on a four-year deal but, with that now at an end following the action at Walton Heath, it could disappear for good.

Ian Poulter hosted the 2015 British Masters at Woburn, Luke Donald hosted the 2016 event at The Grove, while Lee Westwood took the event to Close House last year.

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Justin Rose, who was the tournament host at Walton Heath, has urged the European Tour to do their utmost to keep this event on the schedule.

“It would be a shame if it finishes here,” he said. “It's a tournament that is very close to my heart obviously, having won it in 2002 with my dad around.

Rose Pepperell

“Dare I say there are so many events on the European Tour that maybe shouldn't be there, and that these are the ones that should be preserved. I'd urge the powers that be to make that happen.

“There's an argument there are too many tournaments, I get that. But it's a shame that these ones with history, and ones that get support, are under threat.”

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Perhaps fittingly, three of the four winners of the British Masters in its most recent era have been young players from Great Britain & Ireland.

Matt Fitzpatrick won in 2015, Paul Dunne won last year at Close House, while Eddie Pepperell held on for victory in the rain at Walton Heath yesterday to clinch his second European Tour title.

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