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justin rose

Can the British Masters keep its pulling power in golf’s new world?

Justin Rose is back at the British Masters at The Belfry, a tournament close to his heart as a former champion, but can this popular DP World Tour event continue to attract players of this calibre?

 

Justin Rose is the headline act performing at the Betfred British Masters this week – a tournament that grew close to his heart in the early days of his career.

In 2002, Rose outbattled his week-long roommate Ian Poulter at Woburn to win what was his second title on the European Tour and second win of that year.

It was also a victory his father Ken was able to enjoy with his son before he died of cancer in 2003.

The British Masters has been held all over the country, from Walton Heath in Surrey to Hillside on Merseyside. Since 2021, it has found a new permanent home at The Belfry.

It’s a tournament with intimate connections not just to players like Rose, but with spectators too and the former US Open champion hopes the event will continue to attract big names to thrill the fans.

“These tournaments have great support and great history,” Rose said in Sutton Coldfield, “and they deserve to have the support of the tours and the support of top players because that’s clearly the currency in which we all trade – top players make the tournament.

justin rose

“If there’s too much competition i.e. three tours vying for one product, which is the players, then it does become very, very difficult. 

“Hopefully, that is what we’re all trying to move towards with all the noises going on at the moment – one more unified system and setup which is the ultimate goal, but no one knows quite how we’re going to get there. 

“But if that is the case, then hopefully the DP World Tour can be a huge beneficiary of any changes that might come along in the future.

“We can only hope that events like this will have a much better chance to go from strength to strength.”

It wasn’t long ago that the British Masters didn’t even exist. Having been founded in 1946, it was cancelled in 2009.

The event was resurrected at Woburn in 2015 when Matt Fitzpatrick won by two shots from Fabrizio Zanotti, Soren Kjeldsen, and a certain Shane Lowry.

In 2017 at Close House, Rory McIlroy was runner-up as Paul Dunne carded a spectacular and memorable final-round 61 to claim victory.

Fitzpatrick, Lowry, Poulter, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Martin Kaymer, Danny Willett and Tyrrell Hatton completed a stellar line-up that week in the north-east of England.

Half of those players have now chosen a different career path with LIV Golf but, as Rose alluded to, they could all find themselves united under the same umbrella in the near future.

The PGA Tour, the DP World Tour, and the Public Investment Fund want to end hostility and unite the sport, but what this could mean for the field strength of the British Masters, and DP World Tour events in general, is yet to be seen.

NOW READ: Richard Bland: I’d be surprised if Jay Monahan was in a job very soon

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Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spent time with some of the biggest names in the sport.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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