Oct 13, 2016: Luke Donald has spoken of his pride at hosting the British Masters supported by Sky Sports, as he returns to action after a four-week break.
The former World Number One assumes the role this week at The Grove, after Ian Poulter spearheaded the British Masters’ return to The European Tour International Schedule 12 months ago following an absence of seven seasons.
Donald headlines the afternoon tee times on the first day of the tournament in the company of two Ryder Cup rookies, Andy Sullivan and Chris Wood, the latter who is aiming to join Sir Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros and Colin Montgomerie in an elite group of players who have won both the BMW PGA Championship and the British Masters in the same year.
“This is something that I’ll remember for a while. I’ve been very proud to be a part of this event, seeing a different side to a tournament and how it’s put together. We’re trying to find unique ways to create a buzz and build events that are unique to our game. I’m excited that there’s been a big build up to the tournament and I’m excited to get going.
“I have had four weeks off since I last players in the US. I felt like I played a lot leading up to that and I needed a break. I’ve worked on my game for a couple of weeks now getting ready for this week, but I feel pretty refreshed and excited to get back to competition.
“Obviously I have more responsibility this week than I would have in a usual event, but it’s a very manageable amount, so I can concentrate on my game.”, said Luke.
A total of five players who were in action in Hazeltine will take to the course at The Grove, with Sullivan and Wood joined by defending British Masters champion Matt Fitzpatrick, Lee Westwood and Danny Willett.
They are joined in a strong field by Tyrrell Hatton who won the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at the Old Course St. Andrews to claim his first European Tour title and move to fourth in the Race to Dubai rankings.
And there’s a return of a legend as José María Olazábal makes his long-awaited comeback after 18-months on the sidelines through injury.
There has already been plenty of action at The Grove in the build up to the main event. Frenchman Alex Levy took the adulation of the 2,200 crowd who gathered to watch the inaugural Hero Challenge – a one-hole knockout contest under floodlights on Tuesday night, while Joost Luiten and former snooker World Champion Stephen Hendry then teamed up with local school kid Aston Anderson to win the ISPS Handa Pressure Putt Challenge on Wednesday afternoon.
European Tour Release